Look! A Snowflake!

A friend drove me home from the dance studio this cold, blustery afternoon, and every once in a while, we’d see a tiny spot of white.

When I realized what I was seeing, I exclaimed, “Look! A snowflake!” A few minutes later, she made the same exclamation as she pointed out a flake.

I’m sure this fuss over a single flake or two of snow seems silly for those of you who have been all but buried in the stuff this winter, but for a couple of desert denizens, these few flakes amounted to a full blizzard.

Once upon a time, perhaps thirty years ago, more than two feet of snow fell in the desert, but I’ve only seen flurries a couple of times since I’ve been here, and whatever stuck to the ground disappeared as soon as the sun came out. The last time I saw any real snow was three years ago when a friend invited me to go snow hunting. Out here, where it seldom even rains, snow seems a mythical phenomenon. And yep, sure enough, we did find snow — enough to throw a couple of snowballs around; enough to chill our feet.

And we weren’t the only ones flocking to the nearby mountain to gog at the snow that long-ago day — the roads were all but impassable because of the traffic.

Today there was only a bit of dusting on the surrounding mountains, but even here in the desert, we got to see a snowflake. Or two.

Such high excitement!

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Golden Day

Yesterday seemed a particularly bright and golden day. (I was going to say, “compared to the rest of the country,” but that’s not fair — it was golden in its own right.) A long summer of excruciatingly hot days (way over 100 degrees) does have a bright side — winters that aren’t as bitterly cold as cooler climes. Although we’ve gone through a cold spell here in the desert, yesterday was warm and sunny and perfect for my two short walks.

Normally, I would have walked more, of course, perhaps even ventured into the desert, but I’m still feeling the effects of my New Year’s flu. (Though to be honest, it might not be the flu but the salad with Romaine lettuce I ingested the day before the symptoms began.)

But this isn’t a post to talk about dreary things. It’s a day for gold.

As I was striding backpackless up the street, I saw a bit of color out of the corner of my eye. I went to investigate, and lo and behold, there were these beauties, basking in the pale winter sun. I’m not sure if these gazanias are a sign of perseverance or the first tenuous hope for spring, but they certainly cheered my day.

Then later, when I took the other small walk, I ended up seeing not gold at my feet, but gold in the sky.

Robert Frost claimed that nothing gold can stay, but what does it matter as long as we have gold for even a single day.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.