The crisp, cold air stings my face and makes my eyes water, but I don’t mind. Even if I have moments when I long for spring and summer, I do love winter. The naked branches dance against the sky; they are nature’s work of art, as if they were painted or drawn with ink. The beautiful stillness and quiet when it snows is one of my favorite things of winter. Perhaps everyone is watching with wonder in their eyes, or perhaps the falling snow muffles any sound; whatever the reason, the silence is part of the beauty, part of the spectacle. Following the magic of those spectacular snowflakes floating to the ground is the sparkly winter wonderland of a world seemingly encrusted with glittering diamonds.
Does anything look cleaner or more pure than freshly fallen snow?
This is the first time in a very long time that I’m living in a place where snow is usual for the winter. The last time I lived in a city with a snowy winter I was a little girl, living in Wisconsin. When you’re a kid, you never think of the ‘nuisance’ parts of cold, snowy winters – clearing the cars and driveways, or the ice on the streets – you only think of the magical aspect of it. It’s all about the beautiful snowflakes falling from the sky, the sparkling white snow to play in, the snowmen and snow caves, eating the snow, sledding, snow angels and snowball fights…and delicious hot chocolate after all that exhilarating fun.
That’s how I remember my winters as a little girl. My sister and I would get so excited when the snowflakes began to fall. We couldn’t wait to get all bundled up and run outside, mouths open to catch the falling snow. We loved to catch the snowflakes on our gloves and admire their beautiful and unique shapes – after all, no two snowflakes are alike! We would drop in the snow and make snow angels; we would have snowball fights with mom and dad. One time, our neighbors helped us build a snow cave with a tunnel – that was awesome, trust me. One of my all time favorite things was to eat the snow. I could just sit down and happily eat it, for quite some time. Sure, it’s just water in one of its many forms, but it’s snow. Enough said. Something else I loved in the winter: seeing our husky appear out of nowhere in the white expanse. When my dad would call him, a head would suddenly pop out of the snow in some part of the yard. He would dig himself a hole to curl up in, then it would snow over him and he’d be completely covered. He loved the snow, but did refuse to pull our sled. Adamantly refused. If we ever put the sled rope around his neck, he would sit down and refuse to budge. We never minded – his reaction made us laugh. And he loved playing with us in the snow, as long as we weren’t trying to make him pull our sled! Besides, we would sled down the 2-3 steps of our back porch, and even if it wasn’t much of a slope, it was enough for us. Our back yard was a vision in white: a huge expanse of glittering, dazzling snow, like sparkling diamonds, and we loved it.
Snow also makes me think of our time in Montreal at Christmas, and all the time spent playing outside with our cousins. Back then you were sure to always have a very white Christmas, which meant we would be out in the snow as much as possible. We would build fortresses, we would throw snowballs, and we would sit and happily eat the snow when recovering our energy after a more strenuous activity. We would spend hours at a time outside, often only coming in when our moms came looking for us, convinced the snow had managed to get inside our gloves, socks, jackets (everywhere basically), and that we were most likely soaked through with freezing toes and fingers. They were generally correct, even if we would never admit it. Then we’d all trample home, usually leaving a trail of snow behind us, and continue our chatting and games over a wonderful cup of hot chocolate. The next day we would be ready for our fun again, basking in the glow of the sun and the brightness of the snow, glittering like precious gems. It was blissful and I will forever keep wonderful memories of those days.
Even as I’ve gotten older I’ve never lost the excitement and wonder I felt when I would see the snowflakes start falling. I’ll still play in the snow – just a couple of years ago, when we had an unexpected snowstorm in France, my brother, husband and I went outside with our current husky, and we had a blast. Our husky was so excited to be out in all that snow, he was running everywhere, so happy to be part of our games. We threw snowballs, we ate some snow, we made snow angels, and the guys were even brave enough (or crazy?) to let themselves fall face-first in the snow. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but it was hilarious to watch! Snow has provided me with hours and hours of pure, blissful and heart-warming fun and I look forward to the many hours still waiting to be filled with wintry joy.
Snow will always bring a smile to my face and I can’t wait to play in it again – with my husband, my siblings, my cousins, and eventually, with my kids. That glittering gem of nature will always be this girl’s favorite type of diamond.