First Snow • 初雪

The morning view from my window. ❄️

I haven’t seen snow in three years. The last time I did was in December 2014 when it was barely snowing in London and the brownish-grey slush in the fairgrounds weirdly resembled the chocolate slurpee from 7-11. It was not pretty. I was sad.

This morning, I was barely awake and on the phone with my mom when I rolled up the blinds and saw this view. On the other side of the chilled windows was a different Cambridge from the one I had been used to. A hushed, illumined world that had lost its garish colors and sharp edges because tiny snowflakes were gently raining down and blanketing everything in soft, furry cold. All-embracing, the snow was turning everything—grey streets, balding trees, metal gates, crimson walls, sleeping cars, and boring roads—into one brilliant white.

Snow is soft and hard, white and brown, a still silence and a crunch under my boots, gentle and biting, frozen and melting, intimate and ghostly, lightly falling and thickly drifting, horizontal blurs and swirling eddies, made the instant that it is unmade, remade as it is being unmade.

Shrubs turn into cauliflowers, trees grow white flowers, slopes form pillows for feet, and a smudge of earth reveals itself when you kick hard enough at the fluffy surface. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” plays in a soft hum from my phone, people are smiling more, two strangers offer donuts and blessings, we shake snow from our heads like wet puppies and then give up after two tries, I leave my own set of footprints in the yard.

It’s Narnia, Arendelle, the Snow Queen’s palace, Lyra Belacqua’s Arctic expedition, Jack Frost, and my polar express. What a childlike, funny place a snowing world is.

I honestly don’t know if I will want to kill this post when snow loses its charming novelty once I return from winter break next January. I can already see my future spring semester self in vivid detail: freezing into a popsicle and drowning under a thousand layers, but—

For now, the snow makes me feel happy!!! This week was our reading period before Finals week, but I only have one Final Exam left. Over the past five days, I edited and submitted my 3,922-word story (titled April, I Arrive on the Shores of Your Love) for my fiction writing workshop, read aloud part of the story at a Reading Party, finished two 1,200-word papers within eight hours for the Hum 10 take-home final (comparing Oedipus the King and Meditations, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Fragments of Sappho), and presented my creative translation project (on love! inspired by my parents haha) in seminar. All that’s left is my Archaeology final on Wednesday.

By this time next week, I will be in sunny sultry steaming Singapore and the only snow I will have is bingsu. 🌞

As the snow is descending upon us, everything is winding down to its final moments.

I’m grateful for this semester of quiet blessings; gentle lessons on life; genuine moments of connection in laughter-filled corridors, over late nights, and between munches; continuously tandem feelings of comfort and challenge; the cerebral sigh of content when I’m doing what I love; books that reveal to me what it means to be human across the millennia; brilliant professors who set a benchmark that is going to be hard to surpass in future classes; and all the wonderful, inspiring people I’ve met (if you’re reading this blog, you’re definitely one of them!).

See you back home/next semester/over Facetime!

晨起开门雪满山,雪睛云淡日光寒。檐流未滴梅花冻,一种清孤不等闲。

《山中雪后》郑板桥

His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

“The Dead” by James Joyce

Lots of Love,

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 11.16.46 PM

12 thoughts on “First Snow • 初雪

  1. kwyoke says:

    Beautiful descriptions of snow!
    And I saw snow for the first time today!!! I woke up and falling white stuff appeared in my peripheral vision. I thought rain had mutated or sth then I did my daily temperature check on my phone and realised it was SNOW!!!

    Not at all impressive over here in London as you pointed out lol, but at least I’ll never have to walk through slush haha

    Jiayou for finals and congrats for doing so much writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sel says:

      Yes!!! Exciting, right? I’ve realized that snow is literally beautiful for the first day and then it turns into a sorry sight. At least it’s not as cold in London as in Boston brrrrr ☃️

      Like

  2. Pei Ling says:

    Omg memories of London 2014 and Winter Wonderland hahaha that was so long ago! Also I wrote one of my essays on Meditations hehe one of my favourite philo texts this semester!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sel says:

      You’ve got to tell me about your Philo class!!!! Meditations is such a difficult but rewarding text to analyze and write about – I found myself doubting so much with every argument I was putting forth about it -.- HAHA YES Winter Wonderland!!!

      Like

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