I took a snow walk today. Actually, I went with my husband, our neighbors, and their two dogs, Dillon and Sammy. (I invited Lily the Cat, but she declined – something about needing to attend to her third beauty sleep in her daily series of twelve.) We threw snowballs and snapped pictures of each other dressed up in pants and sweaters and coats that made our arms stick out and our legs look fat. I regretted not dragging out my grandfather’s Flexible Flyer sled, if nothing more than to say that I did.
As we crunched our feet through the snow making footprints that may or may not last through the next day or two, it occurred to me how much writing is like a footprint in snow. I know if I don’t capture my ideas soon after they come to me, they quickly go away and don’t leave much more than a brown, slushy suggestion of thought. I remember once reading about a man who wrote all his little thoughts down during the day. He then tossed his captured ideas into a shoebox every night. At the end of a year, he pulled out all his scraps of paper, and the volume of his words were enough to complete a book. A clever man!
The snow will leave Seattle. My footprints are doomed.
Nevertheless, a cup of hot chocolate laced with a bit of Bailey’s after our walk helped me feel better about our disappearing footprints and all the thoughts I neglected to capture today. Sometimes to remember the urgency of words, a writer just has to take a day off and play in some improbable snow. Today I experienced life and truth and a snow walk with our friends and their doggies.
Tomorrow I write.