January 27, 2015: Snowblind, or What it means to be Lost

Monday night, as those in the Northeast know, brought snow.
It was cold, it was windy, and there was snow everywhere.

Of course, it wasn’t as bad as we were told it would be. It never is. Or, it’s worse.

I had left the Strange News office early that day, trying to find my way back to my apartment before nature came barreling down.

By the time I reached home I looked like a snowman, plastered white and freezing. I looked like wolf in the wild, snow stuck in my beard, teeth bared against the wind.

I did my duty and shoveled the sidewalk in the front, the stairs leading up to my door.

Night came, plows moved down the roads slowly, scraping against ice and asphalt.
The enforced curfew was in effect, no other cars. In fact, looking out the window, no people were out there either.

I don’t know why I did it, but I ventured out. It was just after two in the morning. All was dark, all was silent. The snow drifted lazily, blowing off the roofs and trees.

Out on the sidewalk were dark red drops. It looked like fresh blood.
I followed the red marks.

What are you doing out here, man?

Out of a snowdrift I saw a very tall woman. Her dress shimmering like peacock feathers, her arms as white as the snow except for the red running down her hands from a half eaten pomegranate.

Surprised to see me here? I’m surprised myself, really…but I just wanted to see it for myself. I love when you people begin to panic like a little bit of weather is going to be the end of the world.
But, you…you’re different than the rest, aren’t you? You’ve got a bit of the wolf in you.

The temperature dropped and the snow flakes grew larger and fell faster.

You should watch yourself out here. It’s not safe and you don’t seem to be appropriately dressed.

She tilted her head back and laughed as the wind screamed by. Snow filled my vision.
I couldn’t remember how far I followed the red drips. I couldn’t remember which direction I was facing.
The wind hurt my face and my ears. My coat was doing little to protect me as the snow began to pile on and seep through to my skin.

I picked a direction and began walking, calling out for the woman.

I walked as my boots filled up with snow. Hands deep in my pockets, holding onto my keys hoping they’d act like a beacon and show me the way.

The wind stopped and the snow began to fall less and less.

I was in a field.
It could have been the park not too far from my apartment, but it didn’t look familiar. There were no trees. Just an expanse of white.

Ah, you survived. I wasn’t so sure you would.

There she was, peacock shimmering, brushing the snow off of a tall crown.

The bigger challenge is finding your way back. Being lost is not about not knowing where you are. It’s about not being able to get back to comfort. You can be lost on the ocean, or in the middle of this field. Not terribly scary. But can you get back home? It’s always about the journey home, man.

I looked around me and saw nothing but snow. I picked a direction and started away from her.

That’s the spirit! I forget you’re not like the rest. You remind me of other children I’ve seen.
The best way to get back home is to just go home, yes? You’re smart.

It felt like she was mocking me. I could hear her words on the wind, like she was whispering them in my ears.

She was right, of course. It’s easy to go home when you never feel at home.
Home is something that lies inside. It’s not a house, it’s not an apartment. Sometimes it’s another person. But, home…you can never go home.

You can only look inside and fight against the elements until you’re happy.

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