That’s life

Canada snow footprintsThe snow builds up on the side-walks inch by inch. It’s soft, fluffy and when you step on it, your water-proof shoes leave a deep imprint. So perfect is the impression planted by the sole of your shoes that you cannot help but to try to turn around and see what is left behind. Your neck is stiff with the parka over your head, so you can’t look behind without turning your entire body around.

Buried in the snow you watch your footprints reach you from where you had started, from where you had crossed the road and uptill where you stand now. You can count how many steps it took you to arrive where you are. You can measure your stride, you can even tell which foot is firmer on the ground and which is lighter.

The soft snow lies there, waiting for more footprints to tread on it – all yours. Until the weather gets colder and chilly winds blow across it, turning your flaky white carpet into a hard frozen layer of ice. It is still white, and your footprints are engraved but the details are gone. When you walk through this new crackling surface, it is less accommodating, and not comforting. You can hear your feet creating a noise of snow rubbing against the ice underneath. You walk carefully and step on to an occasional air-pocket that breaks the rhythm and plunges your foot deeper than usual, catching you off-balance.

You steady yourself and step over to where there’s no snow, but it is all around, and what little snow-less ground you find, you find it slippery. You find a spot and slow your pace by putting your foot carefully forward. The ground feels firm so you move forward, only to find that your foot slides behind you. You instinctively balance yourself against your judgement and slowly drag your shoes across the icy patch, towards the snowy ground again.

You look around. You can hear cars whizzing by in a distance and you find yourself in the middle of an empty road where no one has shovelled the snow, because everyone parks on the other side and goes straight into the building.

You steady your pace and move on, hoping for it get warm to a degree when you are greeted by a soft white carpet the next morning when you step out of the bus.

First Published: March 11th, 2007


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