It was snowing very heavily that day. My Dad had woken up early, as he always did every morning, including during vacations. The weather forecast had told us that it might snow this week in Cappadoccia, and true enough, as he stepped out the hotel door he was the first of us who saw the delicate flakes drift in the freezing wind and onto window panes, over the outdoor benches and into mushy ice puddles on the ground. He came back inside to wake us all up, and forced us to get dressed to go for a morning walk in the snow.
We had a lovely stroll around the neighbourhood, my parents holding each other ahead of me, huddled in their own warmth they’ve had together for 34 years. 34 years. It’s longer than my lifetime. What could they possibly understand about me, and my circumstance?
Afterwards they retired back at the hotel, and I continued on my walk, this time on my own. My Mom forced me to take along an extra scarf as I left, and I wondered if she ever wondered about me. What a strange girl I had given life to, how different has she turned out eventually, perhaps she thought. Or maybe, maybe, she had always known it all along.
I revel in solitary walks. Back home I am always off on a walk on my own, usually in the evenings before dinner. If I’m away I like moments alone to myself, usually in a form of a stroll in an unknown neighbourhood. I’ve never minded my own company. When I’m walking alone I allow myself to think about the things I wouldn’t think about otherwise. It’s a space where I don’t ever need to worry about the indulgence of wondering.
I went down a narrow path made of cobblestones, between walls of shops and thick with snow. A dog appeared in the middle of nowhere, a brown mutt. It was happy to see me, as I was happy to see him. He trotted along by me as I walked, sometimes stopping to sniff a corner of the street, sometimes to shake off the snow on its back. I don’t know how I knew, but I think the dog and I had some laughs together.
I thought about you for a while. Not in a melancholic way, not in a way that distracted me. It was just like a passing thought, triggered by nothing at all. These days I know nothing of you, and you nothing of me. Are you even still the same person I knew? There were snow on my boots, and even some on my nose. Someday all these white streets, white rooftops, the cold snowy breeze and even this funny brown dog will only be a memory. As are you to me, today. As my parents would be, one day. And myself, eventually. How inevitable life is.
We turned the street and began walking downhill, the dog and I. We passed by odd-shaped rocks and some horse stables. I told the dog I had not felt this serene for a very long time. It was not fazed at all. There were roses by the roadside - roses, this time of year? - and Turkish lamps, covered in snow, so much so that it was impossible to see the light bulbs inside them. Make no mistake, there was definitely a yellowish light within the colourful mosaic glass, and when the snow clears it would be bright again. I wanted to think that people are like that too sometimes.
Eventually we made a whole circle around the area and I was back at the doorsteps of the hotel lobby. My parents would be waiting, and neither of them would ask me what I did, or what I thought about. The dog left as though it knew it was time, and I never saw it again.