There is something to be said for the profound peacefulness that comes with the arrival of snow. Whether it is the fluffy, light powder that sprinkles like a glitter shower, or the heavy wet flakes that cling to helpless strands of hair exposed by the flaps of a fur hat, the snow combines the soft silence of wind with the faint echo of chimes that can only be heard by stopping to listen. The orchestra of noises grows with the crunch made below weathered rubber boots, sniffles and inhales from frozen noses, and the occasional cracking of a frozen branch. And to look up at the sky one falls witness to the mirage of falling stars that can be caught on tongues and eyelashes.
When we are children, the snow represents a shock of excitement as a conditioned response to the phone call in hopes of hearing school is cancelled on account of the weather. I don’t think it really changes once we get older – you still wait for the phone call, you still end up back in bed with a book or a movie or the dog, and you are more than likely to enjoy your lazy day without giving it much thought as to what you should or could be doing with this miraculous get out of work free card.
With the snowy weather at its peak, it is important to make the most of the blizzards, cold and ice, as despite the messy floors and frozen fingers and toes, the snow always seems to carry with it a fresh clean slate, a sense of innocence, and a good dose of relaxation.
(1) Always go outside at least once when it snows. Stand on the front porch, stick your head out a window, walk to the mailbox…the smell of snow is like a combination of fresh air, cinnamon, the initial sting of mint gum, and clean laundry, and one deep inhale may add goose bumps but can also allow for a second or two of simple content.
(2) A good pair of gloves is probably the best cold weather accessory. Cold hands can make the entire body shiver, and a pair that allows for some finger motion and a lack of permanent frozen fingers can be the key to surviving a good day of sledding or a walk with the dog.
(3) Spending time on the computer or other electronics can be the primary instinct when curled up inside to avoid the weather. It certainly was me. However, I have also found that the most crying laughter or swapping of stories can occur over a board game or baking or all piling into the biggest bed in the house and playing a game of 20 Questions.
(4) Chapstick and good lotion are another key tool in the winter survival kit.
(5) You can never have too many cups of hot chocolate, coffee or tea when its freezing outside, and the key to an amazing hot drink is a great mug, and extra whipped cream or marshmallows!
Snow remains unpredictable, magical, challenging, and beautiful – make sure to take the extra moment to witness the falling stars.