We have had a few days of cold, crisp weather here. Last night as I was shutting down the computer I glanced at the weather information on the side of my Yahoo page, in the place where I have all "my" cities, and Greensboro, at the top, said "partly overcast."
I went out to the car around 11:00 p.m. to retrieve a bag of books and papers I had brought in from the office. Although the sky was indeed a little overcast, the air was still crisp. There was a smell in the air that brought me straight back to winters in the Alps, as surely as Proust's madeleine triggered his childhood memories. I thought to myself "it smells like snow" and breathed deeply, wondering how this smell and feel had come to North Carolina in November.
Around 6:45 a.m. I got up, started padding around the house, and looked out the window, and lo, there was snow.
There is not even an inch, but the ground is covered, and the trees, and the car, on November 21 in Greensboro.
I felt impossibly happy, as if winter vacation at age ten or a northern New England weekend in my thirties or forties had returned.
Who needs meteorologists? The smell was in the air.