Gravity has very little hand in play today as the first snow flakes of the year decide to take their sweet, fat time falling away from the blue and into the Pittsburgh city morning life. It’s Friday, and the few people I’ve seen thus far this morning are smiling happy to see the airy flakes; mostly women on their way to work who smile and say hello like clockwork every day, attributable most likely to the fact that during my morning progression I’m accompanied by an uber-cute 6 year old in this neighborhood of grad students and young professionals, where children are a rarity. Something about late 20-something women, seemingly so dedicated to advancing their careers, and how they can feel the motherly love inside of them. There’s no stopping it: shove a kid with big blue eyes sticking his tongue out trying to catch snowflakes and they’ll melt every time.
Tonight the city will fire up every ounce of light it can muster, from haloed fairy light strung through giant downtown Christmas trees to the echo of fireworks ringing up over the mountains and shimmery reflective off any of our three rivers. Several Santa Clones will spread the promise of fantasy to children ages 6 or so and under while sweethearts bent on romance will strap ice skates to their feet in an attempt to rekindle the kind of love that only 19th century folk must be capable of, men wearing top hats and holding doors open for ladies too posh for doorknobs.
The heater kicks in to warm whatever corners of our home it can manage to slip its invisible comfort into and I tuck as deep under a blanket as possible. It feels like I’m a school kid on a snow day, looking outside at the fat flakes falling and wondering if I’ll find myself with a snowball in the eye later or the thrill of downhill sled riding, the type that you can only really do with one of those wooden sleds with the red steel blades at the bottom, meant to busk scraping and dangerous down ice-covered roads. The great hill that is Negley Avenue from atop Squirrel Hill to the bridge between East Liberty and Shadyside would make for great fun today, if the roads managed to freeze and the people of the city managed to take the day off and enjoy life for once, hence not transforming the ever dangerous 5th Ave into what would be the sledding route’s main death-provoking obstacle
I’m happy in the snow, for now.