Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hoar Frost

We've had a lot of days lately of just beautiful frost. When I wake up the fog is sometimes so thick I can't see anything outside the window. Yesterday, driving to work, I was literally driving through a wall of white until I got to the end of our driveway, when objects, then whole houses, started to emerge.

Today the thick fog reminds me of this wonderful night on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building when I was a student at the Newberry Library. A group of us had gone out-- it was the end of the semester-- to see something at the Auditorium theater. I'm surprised I don't remember what we saw, just how dressed up everyone got and how fun it was to be out in the city. We didn't have much money, but we wanted to go to the restaurant on the 95th floor for dessert after the show. We would not have been allowed in without purchasing a meal except that the fog was so thick the place was nearly empty. It was the first time in a restaurant when I asked for water the waiter asked if I wanted "sparkling or still." I actually wanted "tap" but think we ended up having to pay $6 for Evian because we didn't understand the options. That was crummy of them (taking advantage, really), and an early experience of class snobbery. There was also a harpist, and so the place, with white clouds pressed against every window, just fully surrounded by clouds, felt like heaven. We had not had a drop to drink, but I think of us as flushed and happy, giddy with the experience and our fancy dresses and suits. We were so happy to be there, in good, smart company, together in such a place. We were too young to be disappointed-- who needs a view!

That isn't what I was going to write about, however. What is really beautiful here is when the fog dissipates, leaving behind this fairyland view of all the trees coated in frost. It isn't snowing, but pieces of frost, like dust motes, float through the air. They are so lazy and light they seem part of the atmosphere. It's truly like being inside a snowglobe.

The temperature has been just right for this effect to stay throughout the day. The sky is perfectly white as well, no sun to burn off the frost. It is the variety like this, opening the curtains in the morning and not knowing what you will find, that makes all other places seem pedestrian and flat.

No comments: