Despite the Falling Snow
Copyright 2004 Shamim Sarif
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For Hanan, Ethan & Luca, for the revelation you have bestowed – that every moment of life can be wondrous and beautiful.
And in memory of David Pitblado, who in life and death taught everyone he touched that life is a gift
Boston – November 1998
She has been sitting on a wooden bench in the courtyard of this office building for some time – about twenty minutes, she guesses and she is briefly grateful that the large quadrant is enclosed from the ice-hard blasts of wind that seemed to burn through her as she walked here; only the soft purity of the blue sky above is caught between the tops of buildings. The space is explicitly welcoming, but she cannot help but feel oppressed by the ungainly height of the structures around it. The shiny, varnished seating, the eerily immaculate late autumn flower beds, the studied restfulness of the trickling fountain – all these lead her to regard this corporate resting place with subdued contempt. Resolving that she will not check her watch - not just yet - she turns her attention back to the novel. She is on page five (of seven hundred and forty three) and she decides to begin the page again, since she has read it through without absorbing a single word.