SNOW MAGIC MEMORIES
“Judy! Wake up! It’s snowing!”Bolting out of bed, heart pounding, I run to the window, press my nose on the cold glass and watch with awe and wonder as the soft gentle perfect flakes drift out of nowhere, slowly building a winter wonderland on earth.
No way, not me. I knew I couldn’t catch a cold on a day like this! My tummy warmed with hot oatmeal and Postum, I wait, holding my breath, listening intently for the firehouse sirens to signal “no school.” It would just be impossible to hike the mile to school! Besides, I needed to build a snowman and a tunnel and make snow angels with wings and…
The perfection of God’s snowflakes take my breath away as they land on my navy blue wool snow suit and linger just long enough for me to marvel at the intricate designs before they melt away. And the complete and utter silence is so intense it makes me want to whisper….
As the snow swirls around our Pagosa Springs home, I can still feel those intense New England blizzards. Gale winds whipped snow against the windowpanes and winds whistled around the chimney and corners. Huge drifts blew up and over stone walls and fences creating graceful unique sculptures. Nor’easters kept us inside for a while but it always felt like a celebration. We’d work on picture puzzles and bake cookies, play games and read by the fire as Mother Nature vented her wrath. Hot chocolate helped, along with many trips to the window for a running update on the storm’s progress.
Snow meant shoveling, clearing the skating pond, and icy cold feet as well as pink cheeks and cold noses. And, of course, there were snowball fights and snowmen with charcoal eyes, carrot stick noses and mufflers around their necks. Funny how the snow seemed so much deeper then. For years I thought the winters were getting less severe in New England but I was just growing taller and taller.
My children loved snow as much as I did, although I do recall the hassle of spending half an hour bundling three squirming excited boys into mounds of snowsuits, mittens, boots, socks, scarves and hats. Barely able to move, they were out the door and into the freezing cold air for a romp in the snow. And then…I knew it was coming…I would hear, “Mommy, I need to go potty!”
I remember the rush of pure unadulterated joy when I stood at the top of a snow-covered mountain, skis on and poles in hand. The magnificent vista took my breath away. Thanks to my boys, I became a good skier. “Mom! Keep your feet together!” echoed across the runs. It was my mountain and I carved and glided my way over the trails to the lift once again, thighs burning, but exuberant, invigorated and ready to go until I dropped ─ or froze to death! The crunch of the snow under foot as we walked to the warming hut at the end of the day was music to my ears.
The first flakes of winter still affect me as they did years ago. I watch in wonder and marvel at God’s gift to the universe. As soon as the snow reaches a few inches, I snap on the cross-country skis and off I go to break my own trails across the fields and into the woods where silence and peace become part of my soul. There is such a deep inner need, a longing for winter inside of me. My body moves quicker, my thoughts are clearer, creativity blossoms, and I find myself humming and two-stepping around the house.
And then I think of “home,” the home of my childhood, my family and friends ─ those “good old days.” I can’t recapture the past but I can cherish the memories and make new ones whenever we’re blessed with snow once again. And today in Pagosa, so many years later, I’m once again so grateful for the white stuff falling and flying through the sky. And so are the skiers!!