It’s here. The decline and fall of Fall.

Autumn has fallen with a big, heavy, wet snow. I’d rather have a lot of snow than a skimpy snowfall, but of course, the first one is the most shocking in so many ways. I needed more time to prepare, as I didn’t believe the weather forecast, just like I don’t belive the “Road Closed” signs until I see the actual end of the road.

That says something about me, I think. Stubbornness. Determination. Pigheadedness. Since I like pigs, I like that term the best.  Just like road endings, I won’t see the end of a relationship until I open my eyes to its bloated, mouldering, ashen corpse’s face breaking the surface of the waters of my soul. Only then do I say, “Hmmmmm…”.

The mountains are gone today, smothered by snow clouds, forlorn railroad tracks stretch into infinite white, and here feels more like endless prairie than cozening foothills.

The weight of the snow is too heavy for my windshield wipers to cope, so they give up with an exhausted sigh several times en route to the bus stop. I have forgotten gloves, hat, and scarf, a fact that is more noticeable every time I pull over to encourage the wipers to carry on by lightening their load. I text MKL that apparently I forgot my brain as well.

On the bus, my toes in their heavy boots and socks start to warm just a bit. MKL texts back that I am already in my tropical mind, and he is likely right. Three weeks and a day until I set a course south for the trade winds and turquoise waters, a trip designed to be a saving grace each year, a reminder that, regardless of the cold and snow, there is a world of always warmth and it is one where my body and my heart will reside for good one day, a day that gets closer and closer with each night that passes.

This storm was not as bad as feared, though the combination of our first biggish snow and our President being in town, resulting in closed roads and snarled traffic, has inspired the term “Snobama”. I wonder if his opponents will now begin criticizing him for the weather, as if he is some ancient god with power over all things.

Image courtesy of http://www.DotPenn.com

The marginal woman two rows back does nothing to suppress a wet, grinding series of coughs. The grey roads slick by under our wheels. The still-leafed trees arch and bend with their burden of snow, which flies sideways by my window.

Just as the mountains have vanished, so has the city skyline. We are all moving in a searching rush to nowhere but more white emptiness.  Still we go. We have faith that there is an actual destination within the cold shroud of clouds. Just as I have faith there is always somewhere warm, waiting for me.

On the return, hours later, come the end of the onslaught, the end of the day, the trees have plops and clods and dollops of snow, and the South Platte runs brown and cold, flowing with its own vague memory of providing paradise for shirtless transients on a scorching July noontime. Clouds are lowered in layers over a now visible horizon, though the mountains are still buried beneath their cold cotton wool masquerade. Their greyness matches the color of the skyscrapers of downtown, poking up like a patch of fat, dirty icicles from the middle of nowhere.

But right now, I am going home.  And that thought is warming. Although the flamingoes disagree.