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It snowed on me at random times everyday during my preparation for my travels. Initially, it was sheer excitement that gently pushed me into imagining this wonder I never had a chance to acquaint myself with. Initially, it snowed when I imagined snow but as I was drawn into the logistics of the preparation, I was lost in details of where, when, how, etc., with hardly any time for long afternoons of dreaming on a couch. I got busy but this wonderful mind works on its own and found a way to devise a magical way to summon snow independent of my imagination.
Not making a conscious effort imagining didn’t seem to matter. You know it is magic when you are working on a copy to submit at work, writing line after dreary line before you miss the deadline and in the middle of that chaos, it snows on you, on your desk alone – lovely, beautiful soft snow – that’s magic. It snowed often those days, while I bathed or waited on a busy, sunny street for the cab to pick me up, or while seated on the dinner table with hunger wrenching my stomach, in all those mundane moments, it snowed on me miraculously, each time transporting me into a world so different from mine, one where it snowed on me.
My mind was a winter wonderland under a thick patch of snow. Somedays I was covered in snowdust that refused to melt even while I stood in the sun, talking to colleagues. All I could think of was this white beauty. So when the lovely Chris Kay Fraser of Firefly Creative Writing, the one who took me into the world of love-letters, asked a question on Firefly’s Facebook Wall, I replied pronto.
I couldn’t have imagined what my scribble would soon present me with.
Chris runs the most beautiful writing workshops in Toronto. For one of her writing sessions, she asked her Facebook community what they would like to read on in the verse form. ‘What would you like to read a poem on?’ Of course ‘Snow’ was my answer. Chris put all her answers into a jar and let her students pick the topics randomly. Chris being Chris, hoped that someone would pick the topic ‘Snow’ and write something about it. Nobody picked that topic but Chris is my snow angel, she could sense my romance with snow and wished to present me with the most precious gift – stories of snow from people who’ve seen it. Quite certainly, everyone in Canada and each one of her students have experienced snow.
Because no one picked that chit up, Chris turned it into a writing activity, asked all her students if they could explain what snow is like to someone who has never seen snow. And they wrote. I knew nothing about all this until one evening after a long day, I opened my mailbox to find a beautiful green envelope from Chris. Chris makes the most beautiful packages, her first mail to me was a poem. I didn’t know what was inside this green envelope but I could tell it would be sweet and amazing. I knew it’d make me happy.
Inside the envelope was snow from Canada. Not literally but it was something like that, it flew all over me as soon as I opened the package. Poems and little bits of writing on snow from people who have seen it. Their absolute, honest description of what snow is like.
There couldn’t be a bigger sign, a more touching gift, a more perfect shaman that I will see snow soon – just that I didn’t believe it as part of the ‘save-your-heart-from-withering’ mechanism.
I will share each one of those notes here in a later post. The one description that caught me in a grip of awe is that of snow as a ‘white cathedral.’