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I Love Snow

I really do.  I know that there are many, many people reading this who don't agree, but I love winter.  I like snow, I like cold, I like heavy blankets and bulky sweaters and all the things my co-workers hate.  Yes, shoveling is a pain, ice storms suck, and many things are inconvenient, but I'm that annoying person who at forty still rushes to the window to watch when someone says "it's snowing."

Hey - someone has to.

This afternoon while rummaging in the bottom of my desk drawer trying to find the box of staples (they had slid under the box of light bulbs where I couldn't see them.  What?  Don't you have a box of 100 watt light bulbs in your top desk drawer?  Next to the AA batteries...) I found a newspaper article I clipped out of the Hartford Courant several years ago.  It expresses my feelings about it perfectly (although I grew up in snow country, not down south.)  I love Susan Campbell's writing.  I don't always agree with her, and her pieces are often uncomfortable, but I always read.

So, for your enjoyment (and mine):

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Sunday Takes the Adult Out of the Girl
Susan Campbell
Hartford Courant 02/15/2006 

Just for the record, no one really uses the word “nor’easter.” No one talks that way, save for weather people and whalers wandering in from the sea. And even then, maybe it’s only television whalers who talk that way.

But I like the sound of it. I like that my family father south calls to check on me during a nor’easter. They watch the Weather Channel and get whipped into a frenzy. Visions of wooly mammoths will keep them up nights if they don’t call to be reassured that, yes, it’s snowing, but no, it’s not fatal.

Can I let you in on a secret? Nor’easter or no, I love snow days. I love snow days even when they fall on weekends and there’s nothing to interrupt and nothing to reschedule.

Snow softens things. It turns hard rocks into round lumps of icing. It erases roads and blurs boundaries. I can walk down the middle of my street during a snowstorm, and who’s going to stop me? The plows are infrequent, and most of my neighbors have the good sense to stay inside.

Not me. I have lived in New England for two decades, and the snow – so infrequent where I grew up – still enthralls me. Back home, we must have photographed every winter storm that came through. Our albums are dotted with faded-out Polaroids of wiggling children bundled to their eyes, standing knee-deep in the white stuff. I know that beneath the scarves, those children’s grins are delirious. In our rare snowstorms, we would blast out of the house into a world made new and run from marker to marker to see how the snow had changed things, how it clung to Mrs. Green’s chain-link fence, how it drifted over the broken picnic table out back. The snow showed us that even the most familiar things could be altered into something else entirely.

I suppose we threw snowballs; we were, after all, an aggressive herd, and if rocks were out of the question (severe punishment awaited rock-throwers in my family), snowballs, being seasonal, would have been most attractive.  But what I remember most about the snow was the discovery, the gentleness, the awakening.

I shoveled on the morning of this weekend’s storm, and then I took that walk down the middle of my street. The snowplow had come through two hours before, but you almost couldn’t tell. On a whim, I turned left into the woods and immediately sank to my knees in fresh powder.

Walking even farther into that new world, the trees cracked with cold, and the wind hushed through the pines. The powder clung to everything and rearranged the underbrush into something beautiful

There are a lot of things you say goodbye to when you put away childish things. You stop breaking into a run just because. You aren’t allowed to burst into giggles or tears. You don’t blush or say out loud, “Wow,” and mean it. There’s a leveling off that happens. You have to be on time for appointments. You have to comb your hair. There are obligations to be met that render drinking from the fairy cups in the forest out of the question. Frown lines form; sleep is lost. There’s probably a connection there.

And without your realizing it, snow becomes something that stands between you and the end goal, that to-do list with everything vigorously checked off.

Being a full-time adult is overrated. So here in this soft landscape, I grabbed my day pass back to childhood and dropped to make a snow angel. And then I lay on my back while the snow drifted down and stung my eyes.

When I finally began to feel the cold, I thought to walk home to get my camera and take a picture of my artwork. But I decided instead to just leave her there, evidence that just this once, on this snowy Sunday when anything could happen, I walked back into girlhood. And I giggled all the way home.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
My feelings for winter are pretty much hatred and nothing less, as I'm miserable from start to finish, so shall not comment on that aspect.

However, she thinks that adults aren't allowed to giggle or say wow, or blush or run just because? She's some weird kind of adult. None one ever told ME you weren't allowed to do those things just because you'd 'grown up'. I do all of them. Well, I don't blush much, but that's a genetic thing...I didn't as a kid, either.
Jan. 6th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
I don't think she's saying that you're not allowed to per se; I think her point is that as you get older and settle into a career that is likely in a corporate setting you tend to stop doing those things. They're not appropriate in the workplace, and slowly that "not appropriate" infiltrates the rest of your life.

Corporate America tends to be soul-killing that way - I see a lot of it.

I knew you wouldn't feel the same about winter. But who's to say that I wouldn't agree with you if I had as MUCH winter as you do?
Jan. 6th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
The further north you are, the harder it is to like winter. And the only person more north than me on my flist is in London, and London is a Zone 7-8, so they hardly get a winter at all. (I'd still hate to live there though...not enough sunlight! That's the most important part.) We get snowsnowsnowsnow for six deep, dark, freezing months. No one even wants to leave the house to get in the car, let alone play in the snow. I didn't really like winter as a kid, either, but I never hated it the way I do now, probably because I became more active and outdoorsy as I aged and now anything that prevents my favourite activities from being possible makes me miserable.

I've never really been part of Corporate America. Or Corporate Canada.
Jan. 6th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
I visited London for four days and was delighted to see the sun when we got home. Not cold, but very gloomy. I wouldn't like that.

Missing out on corporate culture isn't really "missing out." Trust me.
Jan. 6th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
Watching snow fall - especially out in woods and not the middle of a city - is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. I keep thinking I need to move somewhere where there is more reliable snowfall. And I was delighted this weekend when there was light snow falling most of the day.

I think I'm jealous of your location, as it seems like a pretty spot to watch snowfall.

And I pretty much agree with the whole cold thing.
Jan. 7th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
We have a delightful location for watching it snow. The driveway sucks like a Hoover, but if you don't need to go anywhere (which is the best way to watch it snow,) what does it matter?

I think I like the cold because I'm so well "insulated" that I'm quite comfortable. :-)
Jan. 6th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
I feel the same way about snow and winter weather. It takes me back to vacations at my grandparents' in Vermont. There was one year where -12 was a heatwave. Most of the time it was between -18 and -22. That was the only time in my life that I ever missed midnight mass on Christmas. It was too cold for any of the vehicles to start.

I see snow, though, and suddenly I'm smelling gram's kotleti or the hay in grandpa's barn. I'm sitting at the table getting my butt kicked in gin rummy or pinnacle, by my card-shark grandmother. We're making sandwiches in the "do-hickie" in the wood burning stove (one of those cast iron things that you trap the bread in and hold it over the fire by the long handle).

I am also firmly of the opinion that I will take cold over hot any day. You can always put more layers on, but you can only take so many off before you get arrested or your friends stop talking to you.
Jan. 7th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
"you can only take so many off before you get arrested or your friends stop talking to you."

Exactly the point I keep trying to make to my co-workers!
Jan. 6th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
I actually love snow too. I hate cold, but I love snow. Who wouldn't, with a Siberian husky in the house? He just loves this weather & walking in the snowy woods with him is a hoot. ^_^

Still & all, I'm definitely a "Spring" weather person.
Jan. 7th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
See, to me spring is mud, bugs, and allergies. Fall is my favorite, followed by winter. Spring and summer... I have to assess discomforts before I can rank those.
Jan. 7th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
I love snow, too! Don't like the below 20-degree weather that often follows it, but love the snow!
Jan. 7th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
See, I love an excuse to wear my fuzzy alpaca sweater. That's the one good thing about how unreasonably cold the office has been lately.
Jan. 7th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
My eyes are leaking...that's beautiful.

In a similar vein, I've made 3 snowmen so far this year -- which is three more than in the last decade B.V. so that's a big win.

I dig thunderstorms too...although after last summer, I have to qualify that by adding as long as there's no tornados.
Jan. 7th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Coming from a midwestern family I have profoundly mixed feelings about thunderstorms. I love them while fearing them. And you haven't seen a thunderstorm until you've seen one that's been rolling for 200 miles with nothing impeding it's momentum except for the occasional tree. Scary, but seriously beautiful.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )