Late Night Winter Wonderland

I was trying to relax enough to sleep last night. Headphones were on and Loreena McKennitt was playing. I generally find her too mellow and low energy for daytime listening, but it’s nice music for winding down.

I came back to awareness for a moment and glanced around the room and noted how much light was coming through the window.

The winter storm. The lights of the metro trapped between the clouds above and the snow below, exceeding the brightness of the full moon. In Illinois, I was content to wander downstairs and stare out the glass patio doors at the snow covered bank between our apartments and the road, cast in a surprisingly warm, peach tone.

I wasn’t content to watch through the glass. Impulsively I sat up and started feeling around for my warm pullover that I’d left somewhere on the bed. My husband was still awake, I could see the dim outline of his hands and face in the light from his phone. I assumed he was watching but chose not to engage or explain myself. Scrambling around in the dim light I found a pair of socks, my hat, a pair of gloves, then left the bedroom to get my winter coat from the closet. One last stop at the entryway for my boots and I was set.

I kept my headphones on over my hat. Loreena’s music seemed like a good accompaniment for my peaceful late night jaunt.

The quality of the light was not quite as warm and peach as it had been behind our apartment in Illinois, but it was bright and beautiful. I stood on the tiny covered porch for a moment just to admire the view and then I moved out into the night.

It was after midnight and I seemed to be alone in my urge to wander. I pulled off one of my gloves so I could operate my phone to take pictures, though I didn’t seem to be doing a stellar job with the photography. It would take a better camera and a better photographer to really capture the magic of that late night world blanketed in snow.

Originally I’d planned to stick around my apartment building, but I felt such a sense of well-being, perhaps even a little happiness, that I set off to walk over to my city’s municipal area, where they’d put up Christmas lights. Here, my solitude was finally broken by what appeared to be someone joyriding on a tiny tractor.* I think they were supposed to be using it to shovel snow but I couldn’t blame them for being frivolous instead. (*I have no idea what the machines they were using are properly called, so I’m just going with tiny tractors. It has a pleasing sound, anyway.)

I took some selfies by the Christmas tree and continued walking, finding another tiny tractor with a plow that had been abandoned. If I knew how to hotwire, I’d have been tempted to go joyriding myself. I passed the city hall, and on the other side found more people on tractors plowing and shoveling snow, seeming to be a little more serious about performing their duties.

I continued on, aiming for the sidewalk that runs along the road that would lead me back to my apartment complex. I stopped for a few more pictures along the way, but my fingers and face were beginning to complain about the cold, so I bowed to the tyranny of the meat suit and headed home for warmth. I’m a little tired this morning, but at least this was a good reason to be up late.

One last observation – it’s amazing how even though I wear glasses, I still got hit in the eyes multiple times with large clumps of falling snow.

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