For a good portion of the year this white winter water surrounds us all. I am not sure if anyone else ever feels the weight of responsibility each shovel full brings. Is it only me?
I am sometimes consumed by the need for extra hat and mittens tucked into the backpack. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the necessity to clear cars, paths and driveways. I am sometimes challenged by road conditions, road salt and road kill.
This isn’t even a particular challenging winter and I am bogged down in the removal of snow rather than the enjoyment of it. Though I only need to look at my children’s cold redden cheeks to be reminded of uninhibited joy that comes with snow.
My husband recently saw a former camper, a visitor from North Carolina. We were returning from seeing a movie and a light sugar dusting was floating down. The young man was just standing outside his door, quietly watching the snowfall. We joined him for a while, catching up on the past and peacefully avoiding the future. We all tipped our heads up to the sky and let the snow just whisper around us. He hadn’t seen snow for at least a year, he said. We silently let the flakes dust our faces and melt away in the quiet evening. I walked home and stood outside my own door for a bit, letting the snow gently sashay around my head. It was magical. It wiped out the responsibility of having to move it, drive in it and dress for it.
The camper went back home for a job interview. We got up and shoveled, cleared cars, paths, and driveways. The constant need to move the snow still remains. I am not that much of a romantic. I am grateful for those little reminders that pull me back to the magic of snow. I love hearing my children describe digging the perfect hideout and climbing the largest snow bank. I may have to shovel it, drive in it and dress for it, but I still get to build forts with it, ski on it, and slide on it. Then there are the times that my children shake me out of my nostalgia by hitting me in the face with it.