Let it Snow
Snow. It’s beautiful. It’s soft. It’s enchanting. Is it snowing where you live? Alas, there has not been much this winter in my neck of the woods. That’s why I love this picture. When I first saw it, it just made me feel like writing about snow. Because I’ve been in that picture, or at least some place almost exactly like it. And then of course I recently saw the movie Frozen which made me miss snow even more!
Snow is wonderful for so many reasons. One thing I love about it that I don’t often hear people talk about is that it makes the world so quiet. Have you ever experienced a deserted snowy street in the early morning or in the dead of night? Or better yet, been out in the middle of the woods in a snow covered forest? It makes the library seem like a rock concert. This is a level of quiet you rarely get to experience apart from snow and I always enjoy it when I do.
The world also slows down when snow takes hold. You have to drive more slowly. You can’t even run as fast in the snow. If it’s too powdery it’s like running through sand and if it’s packed too tight, it’s likely to be slippery, meaning you’d best proceed with caution. The pace of life slows down as well. People are less likely to make that extra trip to the shopping mall when there’s snow on the ground. They are more likely to stay home and sip a glass of hot cocoa, perhaps over a board game with family members. Snow often snuffs out the hustle and the bustle in our lives and nudges us to spend more time with loved ones.
You can also build things with snow if you have enough of it. It’s nature’s play dough. It can turn even the most artistically resistant among us into sculptors extraordinare. Snow forts, snow caves, snow men, the stuff just screams to be picked up and crafted into rough hewn masterpieces, monuments of winter that may last only a day or two or a week, but will turn your back yard into an outdoor art museum while they last. I love driving around town and spotting all the frozen creations people make after a big snow.
But I think what I most love about snow is the sheer beauty of it. I wrote a little bit about that around this time last year, but I’d add here that I think there is something transcendent about the beauty of snow. The brightness of its white is almost too intense to believe, as if light itself had been captured in crystalized form and made to dwell upon the earth for a time. Snow paints with a single, solitary color and yet if you’ve ever seen the sun shining off the snow crystals at midday, it is as beautiful as any multi-colored sunset over the ocean. Snow, fresh snow at least, holds a beauty that never gets old with the years. It can snow a thousand times and yet each snow can be as beautiful as the last.
So if you have snow where you are, consider yourself blessed. And if you can, go out and throw a snowball for me, or at the very least enjoy a cup of hot cocoa by the window as you watch it fall.
As for me, all I have at present are photographs. And memories. But much like all good things in life, I’d rather have at least tasted snow in the past and known it’s beauty and be missing it now than to have never known it at all.