The Fallen Snow, First Snow.
The Fallen Snow
The wind blows sharply and stings with its cuts. That is about as close as I have gotten to snow this season. The winter storms have moved both North and South of me, leaving the land wanting of water and a white blanket to protect from this bitter cold breath. I miss the frozen crystals falling from a gray sky. I experience the pendulum of spring like weather to freezing temperatures, but never do the clouds give me the sparkling white magic I adore. The fallen snow. The first snow.
My earliest memory of snow was when I was a small child of four or five. I was dressed in my red jacket with an attached hood drawn tight under my chin, that would soon untie. Mittens pushed on by Mom, I was helped down the back stairs to my first steps in the newly fallen snow of the season. My eyes kept shutting at all the whiteness. I moved forward slowly, crunching the snow with my white rubber slip on boots.
I found my brothers a few feet away, all three of them building an igloo with our Mom’s bread pans. A snowman half built was nearby. The boys could not make the igloo with a dome, so it soon became a fort wall. One of my brothers came up with an idea of using the unmade snowman and building a big mound, then digging a cave to create their igloo. When they were finished, it was only big enough for me to fit in. So in I went.
The walls inside were spotted with dead grass and twigs. Entering into my nose was the cold wetness I was now encircled in. The smell of half melting snow, mixed with the earth, made my mouth water. I giggled as I sat inside and listened to my brothers voices seep through the icy walls. If it was not for the cold, I could have stayed there for a long time. It was an icy blanket I enjoyed!
That day I learned how to make snow angels, how snowballs can be rolled around and made bigger and how wonderful frozen snow can taste and the enjoyment of catching water droplets on my tongue from hanging icicles. Sometimes after these snow plays, my Mom would treat us to home made vanilla ice cream made from some virgin snow.
I can remember as an older child waking up and laying in bed knowing that it snowed through the night. The morning sounds were too still. Many things were silent. One can literally hear the sound of freshly fallen snow. The wind usually sounds muffled and some things echo, bouncing sounds through the cold icy tree branches.
As I grew into a Mother, my kids and I would always enjoy the snow. Together we would build not snowmen, but snow alligators! We molded the snow into our imagination. Our lawn would always have two or three of those frozen swamp creatures every snowfall. One year we even went artistic and used some green food coloring and a spray bottle and really made our icy creations stand out!
But nothing compares to the scene of newly fallen snow. The branches heavy with whiteness and creaking in the wind, while icicles chime in the wake. The land laying cold but blanketed, finds a moment when time stands still. In those still moments do things become serene and often crystal clear.
I think that is the purpose of snow. Teaching us to stand still and listen, rather it be listening to the frozen tundra or having it silent enough we finally listen to ourselves. We are always busy in our lives we often forget to listen to the land, yet alone our hearts, our spirit.
It is during these icy winter wonders that I have the most enlightening experiences. The whiteness overcomes me and puts myself in a clear frame of mind. A cleansing occurs from the crisp intake of breath from the North Wind. Such a cozy feeling comes over me after coming in from a snowy day. I feel alive!
With hope, I will have at least one dance with the snow before the Robins begin to fly and the tulips start to reach for the shifting Sun. I just want to build one more snow alligator, crunch on an icicle and catch a snowflake on my tongue, so to create that spiritual euphoria! I miss the snow.
But as I sit here on this snowless day, if I close my eyes and let the sharp cold wind blow through me, I can feel the flakes falling on my eyelashes and the taste of coolness running down inside my throat. In this moment of realization, I discover I have the contentment with in me and I don’t have to wait for fallen snow or the first snow. It moves in my memories from icicles to flakes, frozen joy.