In my mind, things look a bit more graceful. Like the incident with the umbrella. I think I looked like Mary Poppins, gently gliding to the front door at work, with my tote and dress coat. In reality, the winter storm on the day after Christmas was no gentle East wind. It was an angry winter storm with rain, ice and snow. My umbrella lasted 30 seconds before breaking against Old Man Winter. I pushed against the wind with the end of the umbrella. My long brown hair swirled in the air. The force of the gust almost slammed me into the front door.
I wish I had some of Mary Poppins’ magic that day. If I did, I would make every snow day — gracefully perfect in every way. Every winter day needs a bit of magic; we, adults, tend to see only the dirty snow, not the pristine kiss of flurries. We would all look cherry and bright, despite the cold wind and blinding snow. Snow days would be fun days, time to go sledding and drink hot chocolate by a fire, not get slammed into the doors at work.
Winter in the two Virginias can send the graceful to the ground in a matter of seconds. The act — the slipping and sliding — is a humbling event, one each of us can somberly recall year after year. It has only been a few months since I fell down my front porch steps. Ice formed overnight. So, when I bolted down the steps in the early morning, I ended up using the steps as a slide. I bruised more than my ego. I find it amusing that one of our first reactions after any fall from grace is to look around and see who saw our swinging hands and sliding feet. Even at 5:30 a.m., my eyes darted to the neighbors’ house, looking to see if anyone had seen the fall. A half-second later, I remembered they were fast asleep. I wasn’t so lucky this week. Both Jeremy in classifieds and Kim in circulation watched the wind wreak havoc on my entrance. Welcome to first full week of winter, I thought.