I step out into the parking lot as dusk begins to fall. There is a stillness to the air that you only feel on bitterly cold and empty nights. The silence of winter. The crisp, cold quiet that has a presence and, at the same time, doesn't.
The parking lot is half empty but the snow has continued to fall covering up the tracks of anyone who's been before. I feel like I'm the last person who exists in the world as I walk over to my car hearing only the crunch my footsteps make in the snow.
The wind picks up and I quicken my pace. Stars begin to pierce the clear sky and I know that without a cloud cover it's going to be a cold night. I reach my car and start the engine to let it warm up as I grab the snow brush and clean off the windshield.
I dread getting back into the car and having to grab the steering wheel so cold it can still be felt through gloves. I take a moment and glance up.
The sky is now dark and the snowflakes have gotten even larger. I watch the fluffy flakes swirling around under the streetlight. Still alone I feel as if I am trapped inside one of those souvenir snow globes.
I finally get back inside the car and sit and watch the flakes fall back on the windshield while bracing myself for the concentration my drive home will take. I can see the snowflakes in delicate detail - just like the ones we used to draw in elementary school - and for a moment, I'm grateful for the beauty of winter.
6 years ago