In honor of the first day of winter yesterday, nature did what was expected of her around here.
She opened up the sky and let loose a bazillion-trillion tiny little snowflakes, each unique and sparkly and white and cold, to make their way down to the frozen, tired, cold, white earth–an earth that seems to me to have had enough already.
But Mother Nature knows best and she just looked at us and said: “Oh, the party has just begun folks. It has just begun.”
And then she proceeded to sprinkle in some of those giant flakes for good measure.
Cars stuck, shovels out, snow blowers tuned up and turned on, roads blocked, offices closed…
Oh, I love a good snow day. I love everything about it. I love waking up the morning after the warnings on the TV and radio and running to the window to see if the weatherman’s a liar. I love pouring my coffee in a big mug and staying in my slippers, knowing nobody expects me anywhere. I love gauging the height of the drifts and waiting until the last flake falls before I bundle up and get out my shovel. I love my wool socks. I love the card games we play and the movies we watch because there is nothing else to do. But most of all I love that snow days remind us (because we all need reminding) that sometimes we just need to pack it up and call it a day.
Some things are out of our control.
When we were kids there was nothing better than a snow day. Snow days meant imagination stretched to the furthest extent, pent up energy from hours behind desks and indoors released onto the cold, white world in screams of glee and snowball fights. Snow days meant no school and no school meant the entire day to spend in our snowsuits, searching for the best and biggest hill to fly down, building and destroying snow forts, collecting a stash of snowballs to prepare for the inevitable invasion of the neighbor kids, digging tunnels in the banks the plow or your dad’s tractor made along the roads. A day like this meant scarves and makeshift sleds and hot cocoa and the reason God invented little brothers and sisters.
Snow days meant that, when we had exhausted all of our snow-game resources, when our cheeks were rosy and frozen against the cold, our mittens crusted with ice and the sun began sinking over the horizon, turning the landscape a little more blue than white, we would walk off into a spot in the yard or on the playground where we had yet to make tracks and plop down on our backs.
And we were quiet for a moment as we stared up at the evening sky and watched our breath make smoke-like puffs into the crisp air.
We were quiet as we lived within this childhood right, basked in the simplicity we were not yet old enough to appreciate, and then, before the cold soaked through our fluffy coats, we moved our arms back and forth, our legs followed and we sunk our heads into the fluff just to make sure we made our mark on a world that was too big for us to conquer any way else.
With that we popped up off of the ground and stood, with hands on our hips taking a brief moment to see what our little bodies looked like with wings.
And then we flew away to the next daring adventure and soon the snow of the season turned to water and the water filled the creeks and we turned another year older. Another winter passed and another and before we knew it the snow days that once filled us with anticipation for hours of freedom and play turned to cussing at the weather report for halting deadlines and creating obstacles that stood in the way of progress and timing.
And so we sigh in the face of a day wasted, reminded that, like time passing and the changes of weather, there are some things we cannot control.
But there are things we can.
Like how we spend a day given to us free and clear by nature herself.
So, inspired by all of the kids who I am sure were jumping in snow banks and catching flakes on the tips of their tongues, I decided to push my adult attitude aside and find myself a nice, clear patch of snow too.…
…because it has been a long time since I’ve seen what I look like with wings…