Today is a “waiting day”. It’s gray and overcast, with the clouds hanging low in the sky — fluffy but also solid. They seem to wrap around the world, a cosmic afghan inviting the earth to snuggle in for a bit. All day, it has felt as if all eyes and thoughts turn upward, searching the sky as we all wait for what might be our region’s first “real” snowfall of the season.
I’ve found that opinions vary on the whole snowfall thing. Some folks hate it with a passion. They hunch their shoulders against it and hurry along their way, retreating into overcoats and fuzzy hoods like grumpy turtles. Others love it. They revel in the daintily lazy way each flake floats down to earth, and can’t wait to be out there in the midst of it all, embracing and enjoying each and every frigid moment.
With rare exception, I find myself firmly encamped in the second group. I am one of those overly enthusiastic, ecstatic folks who celebrate every second of a snowy day. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a place where our seasons tended to be a few weeks of “HOT”, followed by months of “REALLY, REALLY HOT”, but, whatever the reason, I look forward to snowy days all year long. And I feel somewhat cheated when those frosty beauties get lost on their way to my house.
Something about sitting next to the window in my cozy house, watching those white flakes dance down from above, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And being out in it is just as heavenly. I turn my face to the sky, hold out my arms, and spin and spin and spin until I am out of breath, giddy, dizzy, and laughing. I feel just like one of those snow flakes that fall onto my face, melting into a chilly wetness that must be what magic feels like. I love the laughter that breaks the frigid air as I chase my daughter through the swirling white, flinging snow at each other with every step.
But I think my very favorite part is what comes before all the fun and hijinx — and that’s the waiting. Feeling the air turning colder and colder, until my breath turns to fog with each exhalation. There is a peace and a calm about it, and I find myself holding my breath along with the world around me. We pause together for a few precious moments, poised at the edge of something dazzlingly magical. And, together, we savor the hush.