A friend of mine posted a gorgeous photograph from Prishtina on Facebook; of half-finished houses and the roofs of peoples’ homes covered in the powder-dust of snow. She’d said, ‘I realised that last night was the first time in my life I saw the snow falling – it was magical.’
I can’t remember the first time I saw snow or heard it falling or even the first time I ran outside, my brown in relief against the white, my excitement untamed, my giggles verging on uncontained. I’m almost certain I was barefoot: I can remember the first feel of snow under my curling toes, as it landed on my eyelashes and fluttered against my cheek.
I miss the snow.
I miss sensing something magical- like waking up early to a window-view of untread snow. It made me feel as though I was the only one awake as the world slept on, the only one who could hear the Earth whisper.
The first time I saw an ocean, I was still a wee little thing; but even now-some twenty five odd years later- the first touch of ocean water against my curling-into-sand toes makes my breath hitch and my heart catch at how big, how wide, how powerful it is; and how heartachingly beautiful.
The first time I held someone’s- someone special- hand, I was twelve. My nails have always been bitten-short, and my hands have always been small- but to feel it against someone else’s hands: palm to palm, finger laid against finger, and it fits- it fits so warm and snug: I realised how even my little palms can hold something as big and as heavy and as strong as a piece of someone’s heart.
The first time I saw the sun rise by myself- a cup of tea by my side and nothing else. Only me and the sun; in silent conversation coloured by all the hues of the dawn sky. I felt complete.
The first time I finished a race I never thought I could run- that I’d run that far, that I’d run that fast, and that I- with my awkward body and the strange way in which my foot lands and my too-negative thoughts- that I could finish despite everything, in spite of everything: it was everything.
I have been fortunate to have magic in my life: a whole truckload of fairy-dust upended on my still-short a life. I may not remember the first time I saw snow or heard it falling; but the magic it wraps around me- it still whispers to me in my deepest dreams.