Left the lab, took elevator up to ground floor, went outside into the gray shroud that is Seattle at 7AM. Cold like needles into my throat, in exchange for the warmth of my breath left in clouds behind me. The air is full of tiny white spheres, buffeted by the wind, vanishing at the touch of my bare feet, caught unmelting and glimmering in my hair, upon my duster. I try to decide whether this is snow, hail, sleet.
At the top of the skybridge to Schmitz hall, someone has replaced the old sculpture (the ugly one with trash cans and branches) with ceramic arcs painted in blue and green, dozens of tiny clear marbles glued to each arc, the arcs centered around a mirror-polished sphere with a diameter as long as my forearm, reflecting the falling sleet. It seems fitting, and self-referential. Circular, spherical.
I think of the smell of the white-petaled plum tree, and my recent decision to teach myself Arabic (I can hear my friends already: "Another language?"). My memory echoes poetry, writ frost-edged and slanted, in that curved graceful script. Seen, and remembered intricate detail, the curves of the wind, the arc of falling sleet, but not understood.
By the time the bus comes for me, the sleet has stopped.