Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winter Secret


I walked home Tuesday night as glittery snow drifted all around me. I immediately felt like I was a small piece of an embossing art project. The snow, as fine and opalescent as glitter softly fell in my hair, on my eyelashes. It's the middle of February, and it was our first real snow storm. But there were no big flakes and large drifts piled up on the sidewalks rather a generous dusting of powdered sugar like snow across the park and in the streets. At times, it felt like being in a snow globe as it seemed to stay suspended in mid air or fall upwards rather than down as if part of the Alice in Wonderland fantasy. When it snows, all the world is quiet. Steps are muffled, no one is shouting. I can hear myself breathing slowly, and I am consciously aware of being alive. In my house I can hear the flakes gently brush the windows, and I feel safe, happy to be in the comfort and warmth of my home while still being able to enjoy the magic and beauty of the snow falling.

During the night, the snow turned to rain, which made for a slushy morning. The city was no longer a winter wonderland of falling glitter, but a wet and slushy vision of gray. As we walked through the park to work, it was foggy and quiet, a scene that could have been eerie if it had not been so inviting. I was thankful for my red rain boots that finally fulfilled the measure of their creation as I jumped, skipped and waded through puddles deep enough to be considered small ponds. As wet, slushy and potentially miserable this morning could have been, I found myself enjoying the moment as I held my umbrella in one hand and the hand of my sweetheart in the other. It reminded me of a similar February day two years ago.

It was February 12th, a Sunday, and it had been snowing nonstop, flakes so large they actually looked like the ones we cut out of paper in elementary school to decorate the classroom. By mid afternoon, it had stopped and all of New York looked like a white winter playground. Children were rushing out in their coats and boots with sleds in hand to the park before the snow melted in the afternoon sun. I got home from church and did the same... only with a camera instead of a sled. Ever since I moved to New York I wanted to get some winter shots in the park when it was untouched, still perfect. I walked quickly to Central Park and got a few good shots in before it became too dark to capture what my eyes were seeing. As I stood there alone in the park that was almost as familiar to me as home, I felt an urge to call Cameron. We weren't married or engaged or even exclusively dating at the time, but I liked him. I liked him a lot, so I called expecting to get the voicemail, but on the 4th ring he picked up. There were a few short pleasantries and then a what are you up to? I explained that I was in the park taking pictures, and he said he was in the park, too, only a few hundred yards away from where I was standing. So our paths crossed. He was with our friend Matt Maroon, and we took a few last pictures before night settled in. We then wandered through the north woods of the park knee deep in snow having fun, talking until he pushed me in the snow because I was being the tough guy I sometimes like to be out of spite. Matt left us to go home and we continued walking and talking in the snow. I think part of me fell in love with him then.

He took me back to his house for hot chocolate before walking me home later that night. On the way he pushed me in the snow again, and we laughed. But he made up for it by holding my hand as walked... for the first time. He's been holding it ever since. As I looked at him today under my umbrella with his cute curly blond hair and sweet smile, I thought about how much I love this man, and it seems that I have always loved him. I loved him when I saw him at church and always felt drawn to him like a magnet wanting to give him a hug because he gives the best hugs. I loved him when he came to my house on 46th street and we ate caramel popcorn on my roof while looking at the pencil building where his dad worked on 50th street and he told me all about his family. I loved him when we decorated the Christmas tree together at Homestead while talking about life and expectations. I loved him on our first date when he took me to 7-11 before going to Giorgio's of Gramercy where I had chocolate s'more bread pudding for the first time. I loved him when we rowed across the little lake in Central Park under our favorite bridge and he asked me to marry him. I loved him when we knelt across the altar making a covenant to love and honor each other for eternity. And I have loved him ever since, only a little more with each passing minute. So much so that I find my capacity to love is constantly expanding beyond any boundaries I thought humanly possible, and yet I know I haven't even scratched the surface.

Every time the snow glitters and dusts across this urban paradise we call home, I am reminded of that February two years ago. I love the cool kisses of winter on my cheeks and the silence of the frosty night. The purity and simplicity remind me of the greatest love I have ever known, which warms my heart and makes me smile as if the snow and I share a secret no one else knows.

7 comments:

Ann said...

I love it! I love it! I love it!! I loved reading this post! Such a cool story and such cool pictures! I'm excited to read your new blog, too!

Naomi and Josh Davis said...

This is so beautiful. I got goosebumps...not just because I love snow, and february, and memories, but mainly because I know exactly how you feel...I feel the same way about my husband. It's such a beautiful feeling.

Tamara said...

I love that this story has so much meaning and that the story continues.

Beth&Cody said...

Beautiful story and pictures. It makes me never want to leave NYC!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was so beautiful -- it made me cry. Love you honey. I am so glad you have been given the man of your dreams. MOM

Lindsey said...

That was very sweet. You've got yourself a great guy, and vice versa.

Sarah said...

I love reading your posts Nicki. I am so happy you are so happy. You and Cameron are definately amazing people and a wonderful couple. I feel happy I know you.