Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Snow

It was a snow globe kind of morning. We woke to a welcome cover of white across the front yard and big, lazy flakes floating softly to the ground. The season’s first snow.
We had a few flurries a couple of weeks ago, which turned the high mountain peaks a dazzling white against a bluebird sky and garnered enough excitement to start the kids begging to ski. But this was the first snow to stick in the yard and cover the grass, and it beckoned us from the warmth of inside to the exhilarating snowy landscape outside.

The kids donned snow pants and boots, mittens, and brightly colored winter hats and dashed into the transformed landscape just beyond the front door for the season’s first shoveling, snow angels, sledding, and snowballs. The dog bolted exuberantly outside to roll in the white, remembering the thrilling chill of snow in fur.

As I followed the kids and their laughter into the yard, I embraced the joy of first snow. The whisper of fat flakes on cheeks and eyelashes as you lay back to sweep snow angels into the cold ground. Footprints crisp against the fluff. Chickadees puffed up against the cold and looking right at home in the snowy branches. The soft thump and accompanying poof of white as a snowball hits its target.

Most of all, the first snow is the promise of wintery fun to come: of snowmen still to be created and fast runs on the sledding hill and (best of all) sweet powder days on skis.

It’s not really winter until it snows. And even if the first snow arrives a month (or more) before the solstice, once the white is on the ground, the warm colors of fall are forgotten, and it is winter in our hearts. The first snow is a joyous and quintessential rite of childhood winters and of the arrival of the best season to all lovers of winter, regardless of age. Welcome, winter. Hello, Jack Frost. Bring on the snow!

Posted by Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

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