I have never seen snow.
Oh, I’ve seen slush on the side of the road. The deposits of a Zamboni after cleaning the ice. The far off glimmer of white on a mountain. But I’ve never seen flakes falling from the sky.
When we went on our Big Overseas Adventure to the US last year, we really hoped to see snow. It does snow in Australia. Just nowhere near me. But we were traveling in Autumn and we knew our chances would be slim.
Toronto was our big hope. They hadn’t received their first snow of the year yet, and while we heard reports of small flurries, we didn’t see any while we were there. We still had three weeks of our trip left, but we were heading south, away from the cold.
One day we stopped in Portland, Maine, on our way to Boston. We checked into a small B&B, each couple in a separate room, which was a treat for us as we’d spent most of our trip in a cramped RV. We spent the afternoon on a mail boat, visiting all the small islands, and I remember thinking everyone we saw could be a character in a Stephen King novel.
It was cold, really cold. My husband Michael kept checking the weather on his phone and lo! It reported the possibility of snow!
Once back to shore we went in search of warmth and food and stumbled into a bar called Three Dollar Deweys. It was campy and fun. The food was good, the beer cheap and we were all in a good mood. It’s funny how some of my best travel memories were made in pubs and bars, drinking microbrews and eating really hearty food.
I remember leaving the pub and walking through old Portland. There was something magical about that night. I don’t know if I can explain it. Maybe it was the glow of the lampposts in the fog. Maybe the cobblestones of the streets. Maybe just my husband’s hand in mine as we explored another world, our friends not far behind.
I remember looking up at a digital clock on a building that showed the temperature as it inched slowly downward. Even after we returned to our rooms, I kept creeping out of bed to look out the window. Waiting for magic. Waiting for snow.
I keep thinking about that night. More so lately. Because that’s what life feels like for me at the moment. I’ve done what I can. I’m where I’m supposed to be. And now I’m just hoping.
Waiting for snow.