It never ceases to amaze me how absolutely giddy my kids get at that first hint of snow….and surprisingly, how the love affair with it continues for them the entire season. Me, on the other hand, as I’ve aged, I found myself welcoming the fluffy white stuff with cautious delight – or is that reckless aversion? Maybe it’s the digging required to find all the boots, coats, and cozy accessories that keep us warm on those nippy days that has made me lament the approach of winter. Somehow, the season’s gear never seem to be stored in an orderly fashion, no matter how good my intentions are. As soon as that last melt is on, those cumbersome pieces are shoved, jammed and stuffed unceremoniously into my bursting at the seams closet. Maybe it’s the 20 minutes extra required to get bundled into winter woollies and another 20 minutes to scrape off vehicles (alas, I have no garage!) that is to blame. Could it be the endless shovelling, the nasty driving and the bone chilling cold? What could it be?
As I sat down to think about why my feelings about winter had changed, I remembered back to a time when I was young and would wait patiently at the big picture window at the front of our house, looking up at the sky for that first little Suzy Snowflake to make her arrival. I remembered the excitement I’d feel bounding through the snow, getting it in my boots and my pants, playing happily until I was as frozen and soggy as my mittens were. I didn’t even notice the chill because there would be a warm cup of cocoa waiting for me when I finally did come in.
I tried to remember what it was like the first time I set out on a pair of skis through a snow-covered forest: the exhilaration of flying down a slope on a toboggan with good friends, ice-skating, making snow-angels and snow forts. I thought back to the first time I built a Frosty the Snowman with my kids and the fun we had dressing him up. Most of all, I reminisced about the times of sitting in my warm, safe house with my family, all bundled up in blankets, sipping tea in front of a cozy fire with the snow gently tumbling out of the sky outside.
My perception had altered, not because the weather or the snow got any worse, but because I had been too busy to just take a moment to remember-to remember what it was like to be full of hopefulness, playfulness, wonder and abandon. When I finally took that moment, I felt true joy inside. It’s amazing what can happen when we just take that moment to remember, reflect, evoke sensations and allow ourselves to feel.
I find I am now looking forward to waking to find a white blanket covering what had been my grass lawn. I am looking forward to discover all the imaginative sculptures the snowdrifts will make and I am looking forward to making wistful snow angels that will once again make their way back to the heavens in the spring when the snow melts and the cycle of life begins again. And when my kids ask me to cart out the toboggans, bundle us all up in NASA approved snow suits and head out to the hill on the coldest day of the year, instead of dreading every minute of it, I’ll remind myself of the memories I’ll be creating for the kids and myself.
Have a happy winter and Joyous Holiday that will bring you many wonderful memories.