Today I am grateful, as I so often am, for serendipity that brings sweet memories of Hudson to mind. This evening, my friend Lindsey posted on Facebook about how much she was enjoying the Indie Holidays Radio on Pandora. I had never heard of such a thing, but I knew I had to check it out immediately. (I am, as my mother was, slightly addicted to holiday music. While she had dozens, maybe even hundreds, of holiday music CDs, I am lucky enough to have Spotify. My current holiday playlist is over 500 songs, and it keeps growing whenever I hear something new that I love. Hence my instant curiosity over “Indie Holidays Radio”).
I loaded the Pandora station up on my phone and started listening while I was knitting Jackson’s Christmas stocking. The first song was a She and Him song that I already had on my Spotify playlist (again, not surprising, since it’s 515 songs long).
The second one I recognized instantly, but not from my playlist. It was Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal,” which I heard for the first time almost two years ago, not long after the epic snowstorm that blanketed DC in February 2010. Somehow, I came across a timelapse video of the snowfall from a spot on Capitol Hill and was fascinated both by the images and the soundtrack. The song so perfectly captured the haunting nostalgia that the photos evoked for me (and this was before Hudson died)—I was mesmerized.
So when that song popped up on my phone today, I was transported back in time to that lovely week we spent at home while the city was buried underneath 20 inches of snow. I remember so clearly smells of blueberry baked French toast and mulling cider, the sound of Hudson’s no-slip fleece jammied feet pattering across the floor, the puddles of melted snow in the entry way as hard evidence of our fantastic days playing in the snow, Hudson’s ruddy cheeks flush from the cold and wind, the gleeful look on her face as she experienced sledding downhill for the first time. It was a magical time, in the truest sense of that word.
It is so hard for me to believe that Hudson had only three months left to live after those wonderful days. I’ve thought before that I almost wish we would have known the end was coming so that we could have cherished our time with her that spring even more, but in this case, I’m not sure we could have enjoyed those snow days any more than we did. And I’m so grateful to be able to say that.