When we I was about 7 or 8 my little sister had a friend called Melissa from Jamaica. She only lived here for a short while before heading back, and the night before she left she came round for tea. She was excited about going home to the warm and the sea, she said, but she would miss her friends and she was sad that she never got to play in the snow. She had never seen snow, you see, and to our young selves this was such an unbelievable thing, to have never seen snow, that we were desperate for it to happen for her.
All evening we prayed for snow, which was really unlikely given that it was March (which seems odd saying that now, because we seem to frequently have freak snow showers in the Spring, and even odder that we would have thought it strange someone wouldn’t have experienced snow – it felt like we got lots of snow every Winter when we were small, yet these days we haven’t had a heavy snowfall in years!) and sat with our noses pressed up against the dining room window as it got dark, hoping to see some snowflakes fall. My Mum kept telling us not to be silly, there was no snow forecast so stop getting her hopes up, but you know what it’s like when you’re young – you feel like the sheer power of positive thought can create miracles! So we wished anyway.
Suddenly, around half an hour before her Mum was due to collect her, it happened. A flurry of tiny white flakes fluttered past the window! We were so excited, and I’ll never forget the look of joy on Melissa’s face – not only because she had finally gotten to see what snow looked like, but also because we had made it happen for her, just by wishing it so! We rushed outside squealing with excitement and wanting to dance and feel the cold flakes on our skin, but strangely it seemed the snowstorm had passed. Never mind, we thought, even if it was a few flakes at least she got to see it falling. As we rushed to tell my Mum, she was puzzled and said we must have imagined it because we wanted it so much – we could tell she didn’t believe us, but we saw it with our own eyes so we knew it was true. It was only years later that my Mum told me she’d worked out that what we actually saw that night was the blossoms from the old cherry tree in the garden, shaken loose in the wind! It really didn’t matter by that stage, because at the time it really was magical, and it’s a memory that has stayed with me ever since.
That cherry tree is still there, and it always seems to be the first thing that springs into bloom as the weather warms up. I only wish they lasted a little longer. Nostalgic stories aside, it always brings a lightness to my soul seeing the pretty white petals in such abundance. The tree is so big now that the branches completely fill the window, so that all you can see is the promise of new life and warm weather against the blue sky, and it’s such an uplifting feeling – even on days like today (I’m writing this on a Sunday as I have plans tomorrow night) when it’s done nothing but rain all day, and tomorrow brings the dark cloud of a stressful and busy day back at work. Monday this week is the busiest day of the month for us, so by the time you read this I’m probably have torn out most of my hair and will be seeking solace in a dark pub and a vat of wine, but at least while I was sat gazing on those beautiful blossoms I was happy – and I will be again soon enough, because just like the blossoms, and the ‘snow’ we saw last night, those terrible Mondays are fleeting and all will return to normal soon enough! And if you think happy thoughts for long enough you really can make them come true, even if they aren’t quite what you were wishing for!
Keep thinking positive, friends!