Today my brother and I opted to go to an earlier mass than the rest of our family. I usually do the same and go alone, much earlier; it's just better that way. When we got back, there were a few flakes in the air -- and within a half an hour, it progressed to a steady blanket of the white fluffy stuff, falling casually towards the ground, coating it softly. Since this morning, it hasn't stopped, and has persevered to cover the world around me, one bit at a time.
For the first time this winter I was not blessed with simple cold weather, but finally, finally, with the glorious stuff called snow. There's something about it that is magic and I've mentioned it before. The way it somehow turns noise into silence is intriguing, and the way no snowflake is exactly alike is about as mind blowing as the Lord himself.
As the snow piles up, it seems to almost have a healing effect, washing away my iniquity, my shortcomings, and the world around me. It creates a surreal experience as I am bathed in white as the imagined heavens above.
This love of snow is parented partially by a love of snowboarding, but there are so many good memories that go along with the snow of years past. Snowboarding has only recently become a large part of my life. I can remember several blizzards where the snow was so deep I could literally burrow my way under the entire yard. I can remember running from the snowplow as it created a crashing wave of snow in the front of the yard. I can remember trudging through the wooded area between my house and my neighbor's, and making up imaginary story lines to go along with the stick I held as a rifle, and me sneaking around in the bushes.
I can remember the countless igloos, and attempted igloos also. It took hours and hours to dig out, but once built, I would spend hours in there, always sad when the sunshine began to shrink the dwelling before me. Snow has always been exciting to me, and while maybe not as much as a southerner might find it (sorry, I had to!) it always leaves a smile on my face. I pray that I never lose the joy that it brings, as I grow older. The fight against becoming jaded and cynical is ever present, and it is always a struggle to preserve the childhood innocence that is beyond purity.
The snow also brings memories of ice skating, a trip to the Poconos with a good friend whom I have since lost touch with entirely, and of course sledding. At my middle school down the road, there is a hill all the way out behind the school, a solid 10-15 minute walk through deep snow. The hill was not big, and it took a lot of energy from me then to actually get a sled all the way out there, but once there, the pristine condition of the hill somehow made it worth it. And of course after exhausting ourselves on the hill all day we always returned home to cups of hot cocoa, marshmallows, and bowls of hot soup. I don't think there could be a better feeling after being out in the cold.
Sledding brings about the memory of the toboggan, and I have to say, some of the most entertaining and amusing winter experiences have happened on that thing. It's really an accident waiting to happen, but I remember being a lot closer with my family during the times we carefully loaded it up in the car to travel to Holmdel Park. It wasn't until later that I switched to using one of those wooden sleds with the red runners; for a long time the toboggan is all I can remember having.
I guess all I'm really saying is that the long awaited arrival of snow on the ground really puts me in a good mood. There's something neat about being sort of locked up in your house, and it brings upon you some interesting bonding experiences, and new stories. Today we played cards for a few hours -- something I haven't done with my family in years. So, thank the Lord for the snow, may it never stop to come in voluminous amounts -- at least every once in a while.
***I'll take a post a picture in tomorrow's blog