Friday, December 09, 2005

Let it snow

Yesterday, my region was on the alert for snow. This sends southerners into a delightful panic. We turn stupid on the road, and we know it. At the first mention of snow or freezing rain, we flood the grocery stores and gas stations to make sure our cars and bellies stay filled. If snow really comes, just about everything other than the most disciplinarian manufacturing plants shuts down.

Southern winters are blah and boring -- long, seemingly interminable stretches of gray that's not cold enough to merit the perverse pleasure of complaining but too cold to be comfortable. When bad weather hits, our winters usually don't turn into a softly blanketed world that first inspires hushed awe and then gleeful, rowdy play. We get a dangerous encapsulation that kills utilities, destroys trees with thunderous cracks and isolates us in our homes. I hate and fear ice storms. They confirm Robert Frost's wisdom in Fire and Ice.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
is also great and will suffice.

I hate ice as much as I love snow. Snow is magical, reality and illusion at the same time. Its rarity increases its value. When you're not used to it, snow is an escape and an escapade. I'll risk throwing out my back to do a good snow angel or sled down one of the slopes at the farm. A snow ball fight is mandatory, and even if our snowman can only reach two feet in height and wears a tweedy twig suit, we have to build one.

I need an excuse to act like kid sometimes, and snow is the perfect one. The world around me seems to have stopped, and I can pick the age at which I want to stop as well. I can be the kid mushing snowballs together, the young woman willing to explore anywhere with her camera or the quietly amused woman who gets up from her chair by the window and out from under her quilt to make hot chocolate and find dry socks for her family when they come in from the cold.

I wouldn't want to live in a world where snow was an everyday event. I don't want the grimness of driveway shovelling and tire chains. I want to keep that delight of seeing the world dressed up in cold and flashy glitter. It's like the childhood joy I got in seeing my mother in a party dress and knowing she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

Anne suggested the topic of snow.


Blogger Judith HeartSong said...

oh this was lovely.

December 09, 2005 3:42 PM  
Blogger Spencer said...

Yesterday we got what appeared when it was falling a blizzard but it was only about 3 inches or so.
Snow plows were out early with the snow spreading chemicals on the roads making it easier to manuever.

Not to worry St. Louis, tho it gets a nice share of winter's snow, has lots of drivers who go all the way bananas driving. As well, people flood stores to grab emergency supplies. I am always confused in that I thought in
an emergency the supplies should be on hand. (Smile) I keep bags of salt and plenty snow shovels handy as well as deicer for the vehicles. And if you have deicer please don't store it in your vehicles. How are you going to use deicer to get your doors opened if it is in your car.

I had no real reason to go out yesterday so I enthusiastically sat by the window and soaked the precious views into my fantacy
laden mind. At times the flakes looked like escaping cotton balls all blowing in the same direction landing in a pillowry soft bed.

As you do snow is an excuse for me to revert to childhood. I visited thru my Poetic Bliss and layed in the snow and made snow angels. I deliberately slipped so I could fall in a cushion of snow. I had a grand time in it till I was rocked back to this world. Damn, how young do I need to be as a child to not shovel snow.

Enjoyed your foray into winters delight and pains, Cynthia

Blessings galore


December 09, 2005 4:53 PM  
Blogger Chance2288 said...

Thank you...very beautiful post.

December 09, 2005 6:03 PM  
Blogger tara dawn said...

This was an incredible put into words the thoughts that have been swirling through my head during these last few days. Ah...the joys of a southern winter. Keep warm and enjoy the comforts of the season!

December 09, 2005 7:26 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I was brought up with snow in the winters. It was fine. You learn to live with it when it's gross, and love it when it's beautiful. But we all know why I moved to Oregon...

Love that final line about your mother...

December 09, 2005 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anne/Ksquester said...

Oh Cynthia, I loved your words tonight. AND, don't the Christmas lights look even brighter in the snow? It brings back good childhood memories.

December 10, 2005 12:55 AM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

Yes, it iS tiresome. (The snow, not your writing.)

December 10, 2005 5:09 PM  

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