Winter’s Cold Shoulder

It’s a few minutes after midnight on December 31st, and it’s 48 degrees outside.  I am out walking my dog, and I am longing for snow.  The problem is: I live in Arkansas.  Weather.com is calling for thunderstorms and a high of 65 degrees on Monday and then the slight possibility of a trace amount of snow, with a high of 31 degrees, the following Saturday.  It won’t amount to anything, IF we actually get it.  The temperatures have been too inconsistent.  This is why we often have tornadoes: our warm and cold fronts meeting drastically, sometimes causing dangerous conditions.  But I digress.  Back to the snow.

Snow is rare here in the South; we’re more likely to experience winter weather in the form of sleet, freezing rain, or ice…none of which is fun.  Although, a thin blanket of ice clinging to branches and bushes can be rather dazzling.  Snow is what I have always pined for; snow is fun.  Every winter I can remember, I have wished, dreamed, and hoped for snow…particularly on Christmas.  I blame all of the traditional stories, TV specials, and songs of the Christmas season for this profound yearning of mine.  All of those people throwing snowballs, making snow angels, and simply frolicking in the snow every year, while most Christmases I peered out my window at bare trees and dead grass.  Not the most festive of scenes.

Growing up, my father and mother didn’t help matters much.  They were both from the snowy north and grew up with plenty of that glorious white stuff in the winter, so much so that one of the biggest reasons my dad moved us to Arkansas was due to the unlikelihood of him ever having to shovel snow again.  Sigh.  My mom missed it sometimes, but she owned a kennel, and the lower the temperature, the harder it was caring for the animals.  This meant my prayers for a white Christmas were almost always cancelled out by their prayers for the opposite.

So here I am, in my early 40s, still wanting it to snow.  Heck, I even made it the subject of an entire blog post!  :/  I can’t help myself.  Snow is breathtaking; it transforms the landscape in ways that nothing else can.  Frosting bare tree branches, concealing ugly brown grass, eliminating boundaries, drastically reducing the sounds of mechanization, miraculously increasing the sounds of children laughing and playing…it’s magical.  I realize that it loses some of its luster when you’re raised in regions where it is abundant, but I’m not sure I could ever get tired of looking at it.  Watching snow fall is one of the most peaceful sights on Earth, and I can hardly wait to witness that again.  This is why, as a teacher, I still look forward to “snow days”.  I don’t care if we have to make them up at the end of the year; my soul needs feeding.  Needless to say, my winter mantra is:

“Let it snow!  Let is snow!  Let it snow!”