I am little and I giggle a lot. I think I am nine years old- well, that’s what my Mama told me when I asked. She also told me that I was nine years old when I was born and I will be nine years old if and when I die. She is forty seven and she too, will remain that old forever. Similarly, the flowers in the garden behind our house are always in bloom and the trees, leafy. Even the bird sitting on the topmost branch of the tallest fir holds his ground. The roof of our house has a bell but it never tolls. We’re a bunch of strong folks out here. Everything is fixed even when it is moving. But I think that is essential considering the number of earthquakes we’re subject to.

I might only be nine years old but I have been around for nearly ninety years. Mama didn’t tell me that but I have heard so from the people living outside my home. A long time ago I’d heard that we’d been around for about twenty years and most recently, this number ascended to ninety. But inside our home, we have remained timeless which is great because Mama doesn’t fancy wrinkles and I never have to rake the unfallen leaves in the backyard.

Since we’re a little acquainted now, let’s talk about the weather to break the ice? I know I have mentioned it already but I assure you that it is interesting enough to converse about. It is the only constant dynamic in my otherwise static existence. That and the sights I behold from behind the strong fence of my house. I’m sure you complain about snowstorms a lot. Maybe not if you’re nine years old because you get to skip school and sit by the fire but your elders must. Well, our snowstorms here are always accompanied by earthquakes. These earthquakes don’t show up on your Richter scale but they are harsh to the extent of making you sick to your stomach. Think on the lines of a roller coaster with a dozen corkscrew turns. And to make matters worse, we never receive any prior warning. Sometimes, we get lucky and only have to deal with one earthquake and other times, we have to brave multiple in succession. Our home is sturdier than a rock but the ground it is situated on moves and changes so if the earthquake is fiercer than usual, we come very close to seeing our death. Other than that, brief spans of sunlight interspersed with long periods of gloomy darkness are not rare phenomena. Of course, these too, cannot be predicted. From now on, I suggest you think twice before cursing your weatherman. Also, we rarely see water because the ever-present snow doesn’t melt. Once, though, our house was immersed in water and from the inside, it felt like we were in a bit of a haze. But that was a long time ago. Now the closest we have come to water was when the dog from the outside licked our fence. He went at it over and over as we looked on with wide eyes. We couldn’t feel the water but it really did distort our view until somebody came and wiped it clean for us. Our view is always changing too. Sometimes we get to see street lights and roads and other times we only get to see the peeling paint on the wall for years on end. Sometimes we see peanut-butter stains and other times we see the threads of a washcloth. All in all, life is quite the adventure.

Now it’s your turn. Go on. I can’t wait to hear your story. And it’s okay if you want to avoid talking about your weather. It’s hard to compete with the weather inside a snow globe.