The Snow Keeps Falling

Nate Bleekman

White. The whole world around me. I couldn’t tell what way was up or down. Moments before I had been skiing in the highlands bowl when I caught an edge, I knew it right when it happened. I had cut a line of sluff; you know you're in trouble when the very earth beneath you starts moving. The snow beneath me gave, and I was pushed down by a wall of white; I was sliding down the mountain, fast. I was swimming, trying to stay afloat amidst a sea of unforgiving snow.

When the hill leveled the second wall of snow hit me from behind, burying me. My world went dark, I couldn’t tell up from down and my limbs were stuck. I knew I had a maximum of two to three minutes before I would be gone. My mind felt blank. I tried to move, but the snow would not budge, I was able to break my face free and breathe. My body was trapped, more snow kept falling slowly, covering my nose and mouth over and over, each time it was seeping into my lungs as I tried to breathe. I knew I wasn’t dying, but my brain was screaming otherwise. I had been skiing alone; and I knew that nobody knew I was there. I never felt so alone, it was like the world came down on me, and all I needed was one person to give me their hand, but no one was there.

I struggled against the snow, coughing and wheezing as more snow came down, I kept moving my arms and legs back and forth, and the more I moved, the snow began to open up around my body. It felt like an eternity trying to move, but soon I was able to break my arm from the snow, I soon was able to move more freely, I pushed snow aside slowly, and soon I was able to stand. I realize that if I had landed on my stomach and not my back, or if that sluff had a bit more depth and covered my face, I would be dead.

When I stood, I immediately sat back down. I was breathing heavy, at that moment my life seemed so dispensable, it felt like an object that could be looked at, played with, and broken. I looked at my life for the first time as a snowglobe. Instead of looking at it from inside the snow globe, seeing only the world in which my life existed, I looked at it from outside the globe and realized it was smaller than I knew. I looked around, the white snow covering the evergreens.

I watched as more snow fell from the sky, slowly filling in the hole that my body once filled. I looked at it as what once was a prison I was trapped in, slowly filled again, leaving no trace of me. I realized the world didn’t stop, the snow kept falling no matter what, I didn’t matter. I had never felt so human.