Wednesday, January 25, 2012

little things

Frosty leaves - from December 20, 2006. Similar to today!

As a grad student, I pretty much arrive at school and stay in the same building all day. I pack my lunch, so I don't even have to leave the grad lounge/study area. I spend from about 8:30am to 5 or 6 or even 9:30pm in that building.

Today, though, I put on my white dress coat, furry boots, pink plaid scarf and fleece earband, and headed outside at 4:15pm to meet a friend.

January here is usually a month of deep freeze - everything is covered in icy white sparkling snow. Evenings fall quickly. Sunrises are orange, sunsets pink. The air smells crisp and dry. It's usually quite windy and snowflakes fall fast.

However, this Western New York winter has been so mild! We've seen sunshine so often, the grass is still green, and right now, there are only patches of snow here and there. The driveway isn't even icy!

It was, indeed, crisply cold and windy when I went outside today. As I kept my eyes down to avoid the wind in my face, I noticed the ivy crawling up to the edge of the sidewalk, its little lobed leaves resting just between the concrete and mulched earth. Rich red-brown leaves with white veins, deeply green ones, mottled red-and-green leaves, all huddled together just above the ground. I stopped my hurried stride and looked for a while, just breathing the quiet, cold air and drinking in the refreshing foliage. I didn't remember the ivy being there before, in fact, I don't think there is any ivy on the opposite side of this symmetrical music building. I don't usually use this door, but there I was, breathing in beauty.

I did have an appointment to keep, so I moved on, but not without noticing more! There were little bird tracks in a small patch of snow, and rustling still-there oak leaves, moved by the breeze. An iced-over planter, with pretty patterns in the ice. I felt warm enough; happy, even. Memories of my time here as an undergraduate student came back - that's the corner where tulips were planted one year - that's the hill where I first flirtingly took my husband arm to walk with him - that's the classroom where I enjoyed a photography class - the stone steps I climbed three times a week - the place I studied in the sun one May term.

Isn't it lovely to notice the little things? To remember the little blessings we're given in each day? What were yours today?

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