So, until about 10 minutes ago I had no inspiration for a blog today.
Funny, because it stemmed from the fact that my mother was making me collect the trash in the house, take it out to the can, and take the can out to the curb. Well anyways, when I walked outside, yeah it was cold but I was only in a t-shirt. And yet, I couldn't help but stand still and stare up at the sky. It was absolutely perfect, every star shining brightly and not a cloud in sight. The moon radiated with a magical luminescence, and there was enough light for me to tell the sky was like a rich navy blue.
I could hear a very soft hum of traffic, but other than that it was dead silent, the occasional whistle of the wind through the trees. It's something about winter that I love. That stillness that seems to arrive and stick around only when it's cold. I also notice it all the time when I go snowboarding. When you first get on the lift, all the people are bustling around the lodge and the music is blasting. But the further you get up the mountain, those noises quickly disappear and replaced with a stillness that simply cannot ever be replicated except on a winter day.
I love when you walk outside in a blizzard and no matter how much traffic or what's going on that day, there is complete silence. It's like the snow has this magical quality where it simply refuses to allow noise to pass through it. How cool! (I know, that sounds very lame and childish) Regardless, I can't get enough of it.
On Tuesday when I went snowboarding I brought my iPod with me because I had gone alone; no one was home from school yet to go with. Maybe it's something about it being so cold, but it ran out of batteries really fast. And after all that jazz that was buzzing through my eardrums all of a sudden there was nothing. It was like I was watching a movie and all of a sudden lost power. Everything was dead, there was nothing but the wind whistling through my helmet, blasting my face with a bitter cold (and honestly, freezing my runny nose -- is that a good or a bad thing?)
I quickly became lost in the sound of the snow as it swished along the bottom of the board, and the crackle of the ice as it was cut by the edges of my board. I began to feel the rhythm as I swerved down the slope, adding in erratic syncopation of movement, avoiding obstacles and dancing dangerously along the edges of the trails. There is something about those times where I'm flying down a slope that I can't get enough of, and I can't tell you what it is. The rushing wind, the feeling of sliding along snow, the frigid air burning through your lungs; I don't know but it is truly beyond awesome.
Needless to say, snowboarding is not my sole favorite part of winter. The entire season is great. It gives you an excuse to bundle up, sit down by a fireplace, and just enjoy life. It is a season filled with breaks from school and breaks from work, not to mention the holidays themselves, a time to spend with those you care about.
I remember when I was much younger, every winter I would pray and wish for snow with all my heart, not just to get a day off from school, but to be able to just play in it all day, come in for hot cocoa and some soup. Those were certainly the days -- I've had some great experiences making igloos in the driveway or dodging the spray from the plows, or hiding in the neighbors' pine trees and throwing snowballs at cars with my brother -- and almost getting caught! (RED JEEP!!)
The sad thing is it seems that the older you get, the more you begin to hate snow. It becomes a nuisance, only a way to make your drive to work longer and more stressful, another chore you have to do cleaning off your car before you go to work, and the magic is lost all of a sudden. It's like living in a Peter Pan world as a child, and then all of a sudden losing the imagination that enabled you to fly through your dreams, play with a person that didn't exist, create stories and build things out of complete nothingness. That playfulness in a child is priceless, and I pray I never lose it.
I'm thankful that it is not 20 degrees 365 days a year, but at the same time I certainly love my winter. The long drag of icy air that you first take when you walk out the door, the amazing sunrises and sunsets, and being able to see the stars shine on crystal clear nights, where Orion's belt is in full bloom. It's good stuff, and one of the small things I can constantly celebrate in my life, and be almost positive that it will never ever change on me.