Life always manages to catch me by surprise, no matter how I try to prepare, reason, or rationalize. Feeling okay about a certain test grade? Oh sorry, turns out you failed. Set your sights low so as not to be disappointed? Well, it seems you won the lottery some how! Good or bad, it sometimes feel as though I’m living backwards, as if I were looking through the mirror and consistently failing to remember how only opposite reactions are possible. At the very least, this perspective ensures that even the mundane occurrences never get old, appearing as new and novel as if you stood on your head and realized how confusing it would be to walk on the ceiling.
Now, in my usual pessimistic fashion, I already had a foot halfway in the door to pack away my snow boots and declare this winter a bust, when of course, the sky finally opened up at long last and unleashed a torrent of powdery ice crystals. No pathetic flurry either, this was the real deal; Schools were canceled all around, and real inches of snow accumulated in visible inches throughout the morning. Never mind the shock, I whipped those boots right back out, jammed my feet into them, and thrust my arms into a thick coat on the way out into the backyard. Glorious, beautiful snow surrounded me like a fine lace, falling gently and melting into tiny pools on my red, frozen nose. It was all I had ever wanted out of these past three months.
Dazzled by this fantastic display, I explored the entire yard with fresh eyes, as though I had never seen such a spectacle in my entire life. Returning to the house for a burst of heat and perhaps hot tea, I nearly fell on my face walking up the porch steps when I caught sight of the brave creature sitting on the railing. Not a single living thing had stirred throughout the time I had spent exploring, but here, sitting on a veritable throne of fallen precipitation, was the most stoic snow bunny I had ever seen.
Such a tiny, delicate looking rabbit she was, but the freezing temperatures didn’t seem to bother her in the least. Here I was, shivering in my thick layers, and all she had was her fur coat to provide insulation! Wanting to thaw my frosty hands, I would have raced inside in any other case, but I hesitated to leave this fragile-looking sweetie outside in this weather. Slowing down to invite her inside, she only refused and continued surveying the landscape she sat above, seemingly oblivious to the frigid winds that were chasing me away.
I still felt bad, but clearly she was well equipped to deal with these conditions, so I went on my way and started up a pot of tea as soon as I had shed my sopping wet outer layer, still carrying a few clusters of melting ice. Proving my mirror-thinking remained intact, I would have bet anything that all the animals outside would have given anything to curl up by a toasty radiator for even a few minutes, but this tiny trooper defied these preconceptions. Hopefully that little bunny will be okay out there, but should she ever need a break from the cold, my offer for a rest and a steaming cup of chai still stands.