I know Mother Nature has had her laughs lately, but I’m one of those folks lovin’ it. I know, call me crazy, but I adore the winter and the snow even more so. To me, there’s something comforting about a snowy white blanket that brings out the chill in your cheeks and a quiet calm to the world around you.
Growing up, I adored snow days. I remember sitting by the radio, listening for those wonderful words announcing that school was closed. Back then (geez, am I really using the phrase ‘back then’? I’m not that old…), we didn’t have the technology that meteorologists have today. If a storm came, you had maybe a day or two notice to prepare. And when it was a biggie, people flocked to stores and emptied shelves because roads weren’t cleared as quickly or as efficiently as they are now, and that meant you really had to plan out food and staples just in case you were snowbound for a long while. In fact, I remember blizzards when you had one narrow path down the street for cars to pass through one at a time. And it stayed that way until the temperature warmed enough to melt it away, sometimes a week or longer.
It’s funny, too. I remember waking up in the morning to go to school, all bleary-eyed and belligerent. Because what kid really wants to go to school? But the minute I heard the cancellation notice? Oh man, I perked up big time. All of a sudden, I had energy and drive and motivation to get into my gear (several layers of sweaters topped off with a parka, one of those vintage 1970s long tail knit hats, a couple of pairs of socks, mittens, and boots), trudge through the snow, build a snowman, sled down the street’s hill, and come back inside all cold and wet and snow-blown. My mom would give me hot soup to warm my bones, and I’d eat it sitting in a chair by the hot air vent in the wall with my toes stuck inside the grates to warm them.
Fast forward a bunch of years and I still have the same appreciation for a snowstorm, albeit in a different way.
Yeah, I recognize how challenging it is to dig out after a big snowfall. When Left Brain went on a business trip a couple of weeks ago, Spawn and I were left to do the job (twice) on our own. So the appreciation is there. And it gets even more challenging when the snow keeps coming at you, with no hope of immediate relief.
That’s when folks start getting cranky. They get impatient when driving, impatient when walking, and impatient because Spring can’t come fast enough. But, to me, this is wishing time away and that takes away from enjoying the moment and appreciating what life has to offer.
Now, as I’ve matured some (though I’d argue that inside I’m still a kid), I enjoy the snow in a different way. I’ll sit inside, holding a warm cup of tea, watching heavy snowflakes wisp to the ground. Snowflakes take their time. Even when snowfall is heavy, snow has a relaxed rhythm to it. And it takes me along for the ride. Just like the snowfall, I feel no need to rush. Snow, when it blankets the ground, has a very calming effect. It softens the sharp edges that man has infringed on the planet, and muffles the caustic noises brought about by our industrialization.
…until man powers up the snow blowers to dig their way out and find their way back to the crazy, hectic life they were living before the snow dared to infringe itself upon us.
But not me. Nuh uh. Even days later, when everything is dug out, the wonderful, warming effects of snowfall linger. I still go outside into the cold and draw in a deep breath. So deep, I draw the chill right into the depths of my lungs. So deep, I can feel Mother Nature pulse through my veins and clear all thought. So deep, I become one with myself and the beauty around me.
So yeah. I still love the snow and suspect I always will. And for good reason.
It centers me, and does wonders for my soul.
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