A Personal Essay
With all of the snow and bad weather we have been having this past winter, I couldn’t help but reflect on some of the memories I have stored in my mind ranging from pleasant to not so pleasant; the latter being of late more than at childhood. One of those memories seems to be more present to me at the moment than the others and I thought I’d take a moment to share it with you.
It was from a time quite a number of years ago but I think one of the defining moments when I realized that snowy weather wasn’t as much fun as it had been when I was growing up. As a child, snowfalls meant a lot of things, from “no school”, “making money clearing walks etc”, to “just having fun doing the many things kids enjoyed doing in the snow”.
Everyone of my instincts told me it was going to be one of those days, but like so many other women, I chose to ignore the weather reports and set out to go for a walk and maybe stop at a couple stores to do some shopping. After walking for about an hour and a half, I sauntered into a moderately sized fashion boutique that carried the latest in women’s clothing.
Needless to say, I was like a firefly flitting from one section to the next. I got so engrossed in browsing through the racks of new styles; I hadn’t paid attention to the various announcements coming through the intercom. After all, I was too immersed in the hunt for a good deal, almost every woman’s intrinsic traits. Not only that, I was having a ball trying on the crazy color blouses and the different styles of jeans, not to forget the wide selection of skirts and dresses. My euphoria changed however, when one of the sales ladies approached and told me the store would be closing due to the blizzard conditions outside. My first reaction was: “Blizzard! What Blizzard? Now?”
I immediately snatched up my coat and jammed my arms into the sleeves, all the while hoping the snow wouldn’t begin until I was home. My hopes were short-lived when I reached the front of the store and saw the ground already covered in snow and the cars having a difficult time maneuvering through the street. The sales lady couldn’t have described the conditions any better.
As I stretched the knit hat over my head and ears, I chastised myself for not having worn the heavier coat with the hood. The conditions outside were terrible to say the least and it didn’t take long before the gusting wind began penetrating through my clothes. With reckless abandon, I scurried up the street as best I could and because I couldn’t see all that well, I rammed my foot into a brick, barely visible, sticking up in the sidewalk. I lost my footing and fell. It took a few tries before I managed to get back on my feet. The pain in my foot was killing me and it hurt even more when I put pressure on it. In addition to my injury, my clothes were soaked from where I had fallen in the wet snow and a fierce chill coursed its way up my spine causing me to shiver.
I rounded the corner and estimated I had about eight city blocks to traverse before reaching home and did everything to avoid another catastrophe. I was doing pretty good until my worst nightmare decided to occur. My bladder, in its rebellious nature, figured it had had enough of the cold and exerted tremendous pressure on my system to release. Almost instantaneously after I shifted my focus to control the pressure in my bladder, my foot joined the rebellion and ached even more.
I’m not certain as to what point it was, but I began to laugh as I envisioned myself trudging through the snow with a limp, sometimes dragging my injured foot like a hideous troll or ghoul, terrorizing the neighborhood. All I could picture was approaching some elderly person or child and they latching themselves to a nearby fence or rushing away from me screaming, “Help! Help! There’s a troll on the loose!”
Luckily, that didn’t happen. When I reached home, I stripped my outer clothes off as fast as I could, flung them on the floor and took care of nature’s call. I slowly removed my shoe, afraid I was going to see a large purple mangled mess. To my surprise, neither was present. Aside from the redness, I didn’t see anything major to be concerned about, that is, until I touched my big toe and observed that I had ripped the toenail almost down to the cuticle. I think because my stocking had been so tight, it had kept the torn nail from bleeding.
In what I refer to as a “miracle moment”, I recalled having read about an ancient remedy using the wort plant, specifically St. John’s Wort to prevent inflammation in wounds. I called it a “miracle moment” because I had never purchased any St. John’s Wort but remembered my mother having given me some, for a reason I couldn’t bring to mind. Whatever her reason for doing it, I knew it had been borne out of mother’s love that she had. I smiled thinking of how she would have fussed over me and then gave me a complete lecture on taking care of myself and protecting my toe from further mishap.
I truly dislike winter and but for the warmth I felt at that moment for the memory of my Mom’s love, I would have hated that wintry day all the more.
March 2, 2014