The snow kept coming, falling down from the sky in an endless sprinkle of flakes. A blizzard was passing through, the sky filled with rolls of gray clouds in every direction. Pure and white, it laid over the dead grass beneath it, inches piling up on top of each other to create uneven mounds of white. If the sun had been out rather than the dull gray of the sky above, it would have sparkled like the sand on the beach: a snowy beach of white.
No animal or plant life could be seen amid the snow; everything seemed to have disappeared for the long winter. Everything was silent, not a sound could be heard, nor any movement be seen. In the early hours, everything was peaceful, yet seemed so lonely. Regardless, the small dots of white kept falling as children watched from the windows of their warm houses, waiting for a time to go out and play. Some did, while others were forced to sip cocoa or warm tea from inside and watch as the fun took place on the outside without them. The new, fresh coating provided a whole realm of possibilities when it came to the imagination of young children. Stuck in the arctic tundra, vehemently searching for a long lost companion, a companion lost in the frozen expanse, with no hope of being found until a courageous hero came to his rescue. The possibility of sled races and snowball fights, snowmen and snow angels – the blanketed beach of snow was their playground, even if it only lasted temporarily.
Off from school and antsy, children bundled up in layers upon layers of clothing before their parents allowed them to step out into the heavy snow falling from the lightening sky. The sun was beginning to peek out through the clouds, the flakes starting to taper off as the clouds parted slightly. One young girl, looking like a round pink fluff ball, ran out her front door in excitement, her boots making imprints on the freshly lain snow, disrupting the pure, flat beauty it had possessed before. Her mother stood in the window, watching closely as she paid no regard to what was behind her, but rather everything that was in front of her. Dirt from the slush of snows fallen before mixed in with the whiteness, making it a dirty gray, just like the gray of the earlier clouds.
The young girls gloved hands immediately reached for the nearest pile of snow, cupping as much as she could in her mittens, her cheeks starting to turn rosy from the cold air. Her cheeks were practically the only part of skin that was exposed to the bitterness and her eyes teared slightly as a cold wind blew against her face. She turned her back from the threatening wind, barely paying attention to it, and tossed her perfectly sculpted, round snowball at a second figure running from inside the house she had just come out of. She had to be expecting him, but he wasn’t expecting the snowball that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. The blue puffball was immediately hit with the round, icy snowball that had previously taken up residence in a pair of pink gloves and was knocked off of his feet. Falling to the ground, his arms swung out to catch his fall on the small mound of snow he had been running down, but he slid instead, his mittens not allowing him to grip the snow properly and created a trail of snow behind him.
The girl laughed, a cheery sound among the otherwise bland and desolate snow. Without life, the area seemed dead. But, the children playing brought something brighter to the dreary area. The boy, covered in white now, turned red from embarrassment rather than the cold against his face. He tried to cup his own snowball from a pile nearby, but didn’t have the grace that the little girl did. Each time he tried to make the snow stay in a rounded manner, it fell apart on him. Frustrated, he took up chasing the girl instead. Laughter and shrieks filled the air, making the snow more exciting than it truly was. Without the sound and life, it seemed dull and unexciting. With it, it was filled with adventure, exciting and vibrant, even though the only colors that could be seen for miles seemed to be white and gray – almost as if it was a scene from a black and white movie. The children brought color into the monotony – pinks and blues, reds and blacks – they all filled the atmosphere with liveliness.
The snow let up as the morning went on, Mom’s finally allowing their children to leave their house to play. It seemed like they were trying to protect their children from the downfall of snow, but in reality, the snow could hardly damage them. It was the cold that was more brutal; it turned the children’s noses and faces red, froze their toes through their boots, and made their eyes water. Though, there came a time when they had to let them out, instead of keeping them continuously cooped up inside. Out of their parent’s hair and into the coldness with sleds dragging behind them and different accessories for making snowmen. An igloo even popped up, though not very well made, nearby. It didn’t take long for the semi-igloo looking structure to fall to its doom when another young child jumped upon it. Some parents even joined in their children’s play, keeping close watch on them while trying not to seem too overprotective. Most stayed indoors, eager to stay warm and among the brightness of holiday lights and decorations.
Though, as the day went on, it became colder and the as the sun went down, the short day was over before it seemed to begin. The clouds rolled in, or back from their brief hiatus, and the flakes began to fall again. The temperature dropped much faster than it did before and the parents called the children back, back to the warmth of the homes from which they had come. For a small time, the wasteland of snow was filled with life, but once all the children disappeared, it became lifeless again, the snow falling and covering up the footprints made from the children of before, the structures and snowmen kept preserved until the next day when they would be taken up again. Nothing else moved though, nothing but the snow falling down from the darkening sky.
© Alexis Leno 2006