By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal
“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?”
– J.B. Priestley
“Snowmen fall from heaven – unassembled.”
– Author unknown
Where I am, snow isn’t. That has been my mantra for quite a long time now.
Last Thursday, however, snow and I were finally in the same place at the same time. And I was happy.
I’d have been happier, of course, had I not been in front of a computer in a newsroom with no windows.
My friend Wanda Bishop, also a snow lover, works at the front desk with a great view of the Journal parking lot. She agreed to be my personal prognosticator for the day, and she’d call me to update me on things like snowflake size and whether it was coming down lightly or heavily.
Several times during the morning, I’d head to the lobby to look out the doors. Once I went out, scooped up a handful of the white stuff and formed a perfect snowball.
I walked into Lloyd Gray’s office with the snowball and he ducked slightly.
“I’m not going to throw this snowball at you,” I told him. “I just wanted to tell you it’s a travesty that I’m not at home, playing in the snow.”
“It’ll be around for a while,” he assured me.
So I went back to my desk and tossed my snowball from hand to hand until it began to melt. I worked patiently until I could go home for lunch and walk around in some of east Tupelo’s snow.
I asked a ridiculous question during a meeting last Wednesday.
“Who decides where the snow will fall?”
No one offered an answer so I just dropped it.
What I meant to ask was why does it seem to snow these days in places where it has rarely snowed before?
I lived in Vicksburg nearly eight years and nary a flake fell.
My first year in Northeast Mississippi I had several early morning phone calls from Vicksburg friends offering the same message: “It’s snowing and the ground is covered. We know how much you love it, so we wanted you to know how beautiful it is here.”
Ah, what friends!
My dad told me if it snowed anywhere in the state, it snowed in Oxford.
I’m sure you know where this is going. The year and a half I was in graduate school at Ole Miss, no snow.
But I have photographs, in living black and white, of my sister and me as little girls in Grenada playing in what looks like four inches or more.
I was at home in Tupelo last year when we were graced by snow’s presence. And last Thursday it came again, the snow, offering me an opportunity to bask in its loveliness for a time.
Dare I become snow hopeful again? Dare I change my mantra?
Where I am, snow is.
Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.