Monday, January 24, 2011

The Legacy of Snow

What a winter we’re having. Snow, on and off, and cold, cold, cold. Last week we had just a thin covering of the white stuff but it was still enough to play in. Or maybe not. Are the kids, are we, getting jaded? The major (so far) snowfall brought out the shovels, serious work for adults and fun help for kids. The big storm yielded snowmen on front lawns, with traditional carrot noses. The medium one was good for stomping through piles of slush. This little one, well, it seemed to be ignored. All it was good for was brushing off the car and watching it evaporate as the day wore on. This week a combination of rain and snow is predicted here; not much fun.

I remember the huge snowstorms of my childhood or maybe they just seemed big to me. My friends and I made snow forts and threw snowballs at each other. We took out our pails and constructed snow castles with turrets and protective snow walls. If the snow was high enough, we dug tunnels snaking through them from our house to the neighbor’s.

Then it was my children’s turn. They dragged their sleds, one yank at a time, up and down the street or found hills to roll down. Mugs of hot chocolate steamed in the kitchen impatiently waiting for them but it was too tempting to make one more snow angel before coming inside.

I hope the frequency and the inconsistent quality of the snow won’t ruin the joy of it for the kids this year. For an adult, it is often seen as a nuisance; it shouldn’t be for children. How wondrous to have the sky slowly drift down to change the landscape from everyday to magical, to blur the absolute with a delicate coating of possibility, to kiss a cheek with just a hint of a story and then disappear. Let’s awaken every purple pail from the pile of slumbering beach gear to join in the adventure and re-purpose each sled or pot lid or trash can cover to serve the cause of fun. And may we all appreciate, and delight in, the altered state of mind that is the legacy of snow.


  1. Hi Ferida, What a way you have with words. You made the snow scene come to life, and I also revert back to the winters of my childhood.
    Idella Allen

  2. Ferida, I love the magic of snow too. I can't wait for the next snowfall. You write so beautifully.


  3. Thanks for the nice words, Oma and Barbara. I would hate to live in a place where snow never happens, although the cold is another story.