Vancouver had a big dump of snow. It’s melting now – already – but everything is still white.
I love it when it snows. It’s so quiet and peaceful. You can’t hear snow falling – or if it’s really quiet, like 4 am, you can almost hear softness as it lands on top of other snowflakes piled up. It’s hard to explain but it soothes my soul. But then, I don my winter gear – boots, toque, mitts, scarf, warm coat – and head outside to play.
The other night I was taking the train home from work. It was around 10 o’clock pm. I was tired. The station was buzzing with bag laden shoppers on their way home (all wearing toques, scarves, etc…) A woman turned to me and said quite loudly “I love this time of year. Everyone is so friendly”. I smiled and agreed, and we started chatting. I quickly realized she was signing as she spoke to me and she was reading my lips, so I made sure to speak slowly and face her when talking.
She was quirky. She talked about anything and everything. She asked me questions about myself, what I did, where I worked. She questioned why everyone was so over-bundled. “It’s Vancouver”, she said. “It isn’t that cold”. She showed me her purchases.
At one point she said “Are you old?” in reference to my hair color, I assumed. I laughed, unsure how to respond, but given her age (hard to tell but probably late twenties, early thirties) I nodded. In her eyes, I was.
Then she said “Hey, do you want to see my rabbit?” I laughed, shrugged and said “sure”, figuring she had a stuffed bunny rabbit in one of her bags. She’d already shown me her new backpack from Eddie Bauer (“half price” she said proudly), and a new shirt.
She pulled one of her several bags onto her lap and, like a magician, pulled a brown, furry rabbit from it. A curious crowd closed in on us, all wanting to touch and ooh and aah. A live rabbit had been hunkered down in one of her bags the whole time. Crazy! And clearly, everyone loves a live rabbit.
The doors opened and it was my stop. I gently touched her arm and said goodbye, how I had enjoyed chatting with her. In her loud voice she asked “Hey, what department do you work in?”
Oh gawd, I thought, as a train car full of interested commuters stared waiting for my response.
The warning bells rang. The doors closed behind me with a swoosh, and I walked to the escalator full of happiness and the warm spirit of the season.