Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thoughts about Snow

There is something almost graceful and majestic about snow. While rain has its own beauty, it falls fast and steady, each drop barely seen. Snow glides slowly most of the time, with flakes that are small, then sometimes turning large, a slow-motion hypnotic show. I spend way too much time staring out the window, unable to tear myself away from watching it. People walk by my city window, muttering and cursing, barely looking at the beauty of it all. They are cold, wet, some are driving in it or wrestling it off their cars. But if they were like me, inside warm and dry, and just watching it, they might smile and enjoy it.
I had been one of those cursing the snow. I initially would enjoy it during the first one or two snowfalls of the season, but when I had to go out in it or drive in it, would hate it. It took spending a year living in South Florida, in a constant state of sweating and dealing with torrential rainstorms, for me to truly appreciate the gift of snow.
Who doesn't remember as a child the joy of snow? How about the simple act of cutting paper to make a snowflake?The radio announcement of our school closing for the day was the equivalent of Christmas,Easter, and the Fourth of July all rolled into one. My mother would bundle us up from head to toe, and we would nearly break the door down to go out and play in the snow. This was before PS3, Xbox, WII, or even computers. We used our creative minds to build snow forts, had snowball fights, and played King of the Mountain on every large plowed heap of snow we could find. We made snow angels, and used snowballs to carefully knock down large icicles off the side of our house. And we would sled down the side of a hill squealing and laughing, not the least bit afraid. When we were almost frostbitten, we'd go inside and my mother would have a saucepan of homemade cocoa on the stove, which she'd serve with a heaping tablespoon of Fluff. Mom would take an old bleach bottle, rinsed thoroughly and fill it with hot water. She'd put a towel around it and we'd place our numb,red feet on it, and think that this was the closest to Heaven as it could ever get. When our coats, mittens, socks were dry enough on the radiator, we'd get bundled up again and go out this time to make a snowman. We would listen to the crunching sound of the snow under our boots, and watch as the sky started to turn soft pink and lavender. And again, frostbitten, the sun starting to set and the temperature dropping, and with clumps of snow frozen to our mittens and pants, we'd head home for a hot, hearty dinner.
Each year I am tempted to go out, and with no one looking, make a snow angel. I haven't gotten the courage yet, but maybe this winter it will happen.

NOTE:This is written with my apologies to the folks in Colorado.