Posted by: LucidMystery | November 16, 2008

Snow, Stillness, and the Bittersweet

Four of my wonderful friends made the three and a half hour trek up to see me this weekend. It was fabulous, and I can honestly say I have never had as much fun in Pittsburgh as I did this weekend being around those close to me. We all danced–free and crazy–in front of the Hard Rock Cafe’s elaborate water fountain, laughed at nothing at all until we collapsed late at night, ate way too much Italian food at Buca di Beppo’s, checked out some dine-uh-saurs at the museum, and took some crazy pictures high above the city from atop the Monongahela Incline.

The only downside was when they went home. I have grown accustomed to the sinking feeling whenever I start driving back to the ‘Burgh after a weekend and at home, so I tried to make a preemptive strike against the loneliness this time. As I learned in my beloved “Little House on the Prairie” books, “busy hands are a help to being cheerful” (and puh-leeze nobody take that in the wrong way.) What I mean is, getting started on lab work would get me over that post-fun slump so I wouldn’t be so bummed coming back to an apartment that only hours before had been bursting to its little seams with giggles and goofiness.

But as I was leaving the lab, I had a pleasant surprise. The flurries from earlier had turned into a lovely snow. I’m a sucker for the first few snowfalls of the year, so I couldn’t help but smile at the breathtaking icy beauty of it. Nor could I help a stop at Starbucks. Ten minutes and a gingersnap latte later, I was back out in the wintery bliss, admiring the still, silvery glow of the world around me. It reminded me of the upcoming Christmas season, and in spite of myself, I felt excited.

That excitement persisted.

Even as I uploaded all the pics from this weekend onto facebook, as I scored hours of salamander behavior footage, as I read a class article on the effects of limestone as an  acid remediation on watersheds, and as I munched down leftovers from Buca’s, I still felt excited! I wasn’t feeling alone because my friends had gone home, I felt all over loved! Loved because they made the trip up here to see me, loved because God knew where my spirits would be this afternoon and He sent me exactly what would reach me best, and loved in a distant sense that I know I will find friends around here that I will someday feel just as comfortable with.

Just a few minutes in the stillness with Him was all I needed. Just walking to my car, as snow fell down all around me and a steaming latte warming my hands, that’s all it took. I didn’t come home and drown in self-pity, and I don’t need to.




  1. Maria! Your hair is getting long!

    Chris never wears a jacket!


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