Snow fell that night. It came howling down across the hills. It swept in on us fro the Smokies. By seven o’clock the air was blind with sweeping snow, the earth was carpeted, the streets were numb. The storm howled on, around the houses warm with crackling fires and shaded light. All life seemed to have withdrawn into thrilling isolation. (Thomas Wolfe, The Child by Tiger)Downtown has been exceptionally deserted the last few nights with the wind, and the cold, and the off-season. I had some errands to run yesterday and had little company on the streets. Maybe because I’ve been reading a lot of Wolfe lately (he is really growing on me) it felt like Wolfe’s Asheville, deserted and cold, but familiar, as I hustled around Broadway, up Walnut, down Haywood. The streets and the storefronts all seemed from a different time, transported back in the frozen wind to a quieter simpleness.
While I rushed from the library back to my truck it was obvious a lot of the people that were downtown weren’t in the same hurry to get out of the bitter cold because they didn’t have a welcoming place to go. I am forever thankful that I am so lucky – to have a great family and a warm place to call home. I couldn’t think of a better place to live than Asheville.
I hope everyone finds a little warmth and something to be grateful for today.