They who predict the weather told us that today we would not have to worry about the snow. They said that we would only be slightly annoyed by the accumulation on the street, but that it would amount to nothing more than a small inconvenience.
They were wrong this time.
I didn't care. Today, the snow was beautiful.
I walked to Columbia Heights mid-morning as the flakes were falling from the sky. My thoughts turned briefly to Mr. H. This snow would have halted the day to day activities of his country, and perhaps that is not necessarily a bad thing. I was not allowing my day to come to a halt, for it was a celebratory one. Another friend is having a baby and attending her baby shower was order of the day.
In my travels through the snow, I thought back to my first evening on my holiday. It was then, after a few visits to England, that I finally got to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform what is not normally a favorite play of mine, Twelfth Night. The RSC did its job splendidly; for now, I am obliged to reread this play and rethink what it is exactly that turned me off to it in the first place.
During the play, Mr. H and other tall men and women folded themselves origami-like into chairs made for smaller, shorter Victorian people. As others fidgeted about in their chairs, a girl and her mother scribbled notes furiously during the performance. The pair were transfixed and observant, seemingly aware of all things occurring on stage. I learned later that they had come in all the way from Scotland to see this comedy so that the girl could prepare for her national high school exams. Mr. H engaged them in conversation and charmed them (particularly the mother) at every turn; he even offered them some of the candy he purchased at intermission.
I envied his ease with strangers.
Ice and snow covered the theatre district and I was stupid and chose to wear inappropriate shoes. As a result I moved quite gingerly worried about a fall. I suppose I thought that the area around the theatre district would have had less ice. Lesson learned.
Mr. H. offered an outstretched gloved hand to my mittened one in an attempt hurry me through the ice and snow to make the curtain. Even as we cantered, I noted to myself how kind and comforting it was to move hand in hand with someone through the streets of any city, let alone one that is so ancient and familiar feeling, yet ultimately strange to me.
"Are you holding my hand because you don't want to fall over," he asked with a smirk, "or are you holding it for another reason?"
I knew, but I didn't feel like replying.
Throughout our walks that night, I grasped and let go of his hand at my leisure, and he didn't seem to mind.
Perhaps I wasn't the only one who liked kindness and comfort.