There is a wilderness, home of behemoths issuing from a floor carpeted with life. There is a wilderness, labyrinthian, trees milking the sun, ushering its golden light from the heavens to the earth upon extended wooden fingers and forearms. There is a wilderness, still in the coolness of morning mist, buzzing with the heat of the day. This is my wilderness, here I am lost.
Yesterday, when I should have been practicing piano, I found myself wandering, as I so often do when I’m supposed to be firmly planted in my seat. My mind uprooted itself and was treading through a meadow, somewhere deep in that vast wilderness of mine. It was a small clearing, bordered by poplars. I could tell it was June, but snow drifted lazily from a pallid sky. Frosty glass encased all the bluebells and the clover in the meadow and their stems snapped when I reached out to brush their petals with my fingertips. I grew melancholy for the flowers and grass; their vivacity had been cut short by this untimely blast of winter. Their hues under the frost, although not lost, were muted, reminiscent of dried flowers on a grandma’s nightstand. I longed to be warmly greeted by the deep purples and golds, but I saw only periwinkles and cremes. I kept wandering, perplexed by the absence of heat on this June day, when my mother’s voice shook me back to reality.
Keep playing darling, you’ve barely touched the keys all summer.
My fingers obediently found the piano and listlessly pattered around, but none of the notes made sense to me and the ivory felt oddly chilled under my fingers. The high notes sounded like glass shattering and the low notes like doors slamming. I could not find the music hidden in the hammers and strings. I could not coax out the song that usually flowed so readily from inside me. I stood and closed the keylid, startled by an icy draft that billowed from somewhere in the instrument, raising the hairs on my arms.
Later that night, I found myself hunched over a sketchbook, pen tip bouncing off the table, blank paper looking up at me, waiting. As I stared at the blinding white page, I found myself transported to the same June meadow, now in the midst of a blizzard. What a waste of a summer, I thought. I lay down in the snow drifts and they began to accumulate on top of me. The once lovely flowers were completely obliterated, now just vegetation in the permafrost of this once lively landscape. I remember coming to this meadow when I was younger, when it was yet spring. Such jubilance I had then, endless laughter. I picked flowers from the never-ending fields as the May sun warmed the earth. I was inspired, passionate, deliberate, purposeful. Maybe all I did in a day was collect a few daffodils, but they each meant the world to me. Now in a day I accomplish so many things, things I am told are important, things I believe I must do, things that are just things and nothing more for I do them and then forget what I have done. These things mean nothing to me – I would trade them all for a single spring daisy, for a flower I picked from a meadow with no consequences; I would lose no sleep; keep it in a glass, dry it when it died, glue it to a paper, draw it again and again until I knew that flower better than I knew my own hands. Now my hands stab at a keyboard for hours until they forget how to waltz across ebony and ivory, but they remember how to stumble around qwerty. My fingers trace lines of text I am to memorize, but they forget how to trace the forms of roses I want to paint. My collection of dried flowers was crushed by my collection of to-do lists. And now as it snows in my once-beautiful meadow, I wonder, have I ignored my summer and now fall is almost upon me?
Am I wasting my summer, this moment of life and passion? Am I expending all my fire on useless pursuits? Despite the June sun, I am buried in snow-drifts of endless to-dos and must-dos and should-dos and could-dos but have no want-to-dos. Pretty soon it will be July, with September following shortly after, then January and February will come into view. Am I wasting my summer, this short sprint before my energy fades and I find myself gasping for oxygen, before the light in the world grows dim, when the lemonade doesn’t taste as sweet?
I look back down at the page of the sketchbook before me and see that something has been drawn, a crude form. I stare for a moment, not sure I understand. Then I see it. Out of the blizzard-bleached white of the paper, a sun is emerging. It is flanked by peach-pink cloud wisps that soon melt away as it rises and shines ever brighter. Summer is not over. Perhaps spring is simply ending and has blown away with one last icy spell. The snow begins to melt and I resolve to visit my once-forgotten meadow more often and, while I am there, to collect as many flowers as I can.
6 thoughts on “When it Snows in June”
I can not even begin to describe how much I LOVED this piece. I am so shocked to think that this is only your first year of AP… Is there anything you can’t do???
I loved how simple this was. I am definitely a person who gets bored reading long stories when I find that they are too complex or melodramatic, but this my love was perfect. Your use of imagery and sensory detail made this short story beautiful as well. You created the perfect mix between simplicity and symbolism (the two things I prioritize most in my writing) and gave me art – quite literally. I love love love the idea of a snowfall in June and how it is used as more of a period of disarray rather than a season of misfortune because, again not only is it realistic but also simple. That was something I could relate to so well. Pushing things off and getting caught up in all of my obligations that I never leave myself time to really just be happy with myself. I think this is a piece that greatly relates to a lot of us students, PARTICULARLY the ones in grade twelve who are trying so hard to enjoy our last year, but also drowning in the process of academic excellence and post secondary stress. I want you to thank you for writing such a strikingly beautiful piece that I think we all really needed at the moment. I do think this could even be put in the FFCA newsletter, just because it is so well done and it’s something that a lot of us either relate to or need to understand.
As for to work ons, I really don’t have much just because i thought this was really well done. My only suggestions would be to try to maybe clarify the beginning a bit as, as much as I was enrapt within your imagery, I think it lacked slight clarity. I wasn’t completely sure of what you were talking about until near the end of the second paragraph, and as much as I loved the details to keep me strung along, I think that with just the slightest bit more clarity with the issue of lack of self fulfillment at the beginning, your readers will feel just that much more connected to what you are writing about so that the ending can hit them even harder.
All in all, bravo my love. This was absolutely stunning. I cannot wait to see what you come up with next!!
Firstly, thank you for your kind words! Honestly, it is people like you who make this class the inspiring haven of creativity and freedom it is. So thank YOU.
Also, I absolutely agree that simplicity and symbolism are MAJOR KEYS, and I’m thrilled you found them in my blog. That means a lot to me. Recently, I’ve been frustrated struggling with lack of inspiration because I find myself so bogged down with the very obligations you listed. So I’m glad that other people can relate (although it’s a bit of a tragic thing to relate to).
I totally agree that I get to the point pretty late on and will definitely try to weave my message more consistently throughout my writing in future blogs. To be honest, I wasn’t completely sure where I was taking the piece until later on and it’s good to know that it definitely shows. Thanks again for your comment!
Wow! Thank you so much for writing such a mesmerizing and enrapturing piece! I fell in love with your imagery and tone of voice, not to mention your style. I really value writers like you who are able to take on any topic and make it seem like a fairy tale. I genuinely felt like I was in a fairy tale while I was reading this because your language was so engrossing and fragrant. Your first line was one of my favorites and it tied into your ending so well!
For to work ons, I’d agree with Yasee and suggest that you add a little more clarity throughout the piece. For example, I feel like your transitions could be a little smoother because there were times where I got confused as to where I was. Other than that, you have a solid piece which I can totally relate to since I’m a person who has a ton of hobbies that I love to do and school gets in the way of those things. The mundane always seems to get in the way despite how common it is.
Anyway, this piece was absolutely phenomenal! Do us all a favor and never stop writing!
Thanks for taking the time to reply! I always strive for beauty (imagery galore amirite) and relatability and I’m thrilled you saw them in this piece. The topic of my blog has definitely been on my mind for a while now and, as I said to Yas, I’m halfheartedly glad that I’m not alone in my experience with it.
Regarding your suggestion, I can absolutely see how it is easy to get confused while reading this. I’ll certainly try next time to make the story’s progression more transparent and my theme more immediately apparent!
This was an excellent piece. I absolutely love your voice and how it so elegantly portrays the beauty that you see in the world. The syntax is hard, yet soft at the same time. It’s an excellent effect that I have some trouble explaining. I loved how you started the piece, and I know all too well what it’s like to get lost in your mind, to let yourself indulge in a little bit of reverie. Speaking on that note, I loved the message that this piece portrayed. It just felt so real to me and ever so relatable. Especially in the line “Now in a day I accomplish so many things, things I am told are important, things I believe I must do, things that are just things and nothing more for I do them and then forget what I have done”. This feels like it hits straight at the heart of what it’s like being a highschool student, and how nothing you do ever really feels meaningful at all, and rarely ever is school work rewarding in that a lot of us would prefer it to be.
That being said, I think something to work on is definitely your cohesion on this piece, and I think that you needed to link everything together in the end. I think you needed to link the piano practice and the haze of the summery paradise that you describe together. Everything in this piece is excellent, and I think if you add a little bit more to connect all these wonderful ideas together, your work will benefit hugely from it.
All in all, excellent work, thanks Lauryn!
Thanks for your comment! As I’ve said before, I really strive to present a message that speaks to people, and I’m thrilled that my piece spoke to you. I appreciate that you like my expressions about the beauty of the world. That is certainly something I really feel strongly about. I really admire the passion you seem to have about life and your convictions. From what I could infer from your presentation way back is that you think deeply and feel things intensely, which is an amazing combination of qualities!
Also, I completely agree with your suggestions about continuity. I’ll keep it in mind for next time!