What is it about snow that makes the memories flow? As I watched the snow fall, my mind traveled back to many years ago. It was a late March snow, and I was seven. I was so bundled, I could barely move my arms. My sister and I couldn’t wait to go outside. We shivered, not with cold, but with the excitement of the falling snowflakes. The sight of the snow was so magical and the world was a perfect place. We played for hours, throwing snowballs and making snow angels. We must have been so cold and wet, however, nothing mattered except being outside. The air was so clear and brisk. We only came inside long enough to dry our mittens and eat snow cream. As soon as we were warm, we would head out again, not wanting to miss a moment of fun. I remember the sadness that came with nightfall as I watched the last bits of daylight glistening on the snowy surfaces. How I wanted to snow to stay forever. Tired from the day’s activities, I’d happily drift into sleep underneath a mountain of cozy blankets, remembering the perfect day. Life was so simple.
I remember another snowy day, much different from the one before. I was thirty-one and struggling through a painful divorce. As I woke one morning, I realized that I was surrounded by a sea of white. I sat in my all white bed, in my all white bedroom. Outside my window, there was nothing except the white snow. I had never seen anything more peaceful or more beautiful. Suddenly, I felt as if my whole life had been wrapped in a blanket of white. A fresh canvas. Freedom. Acceptance. I knew that as the fresh new snow laid outside, I had started a fresh new life of my own. Instead of playing outside, as I had years ago, I spent the day sipping hot chocolate, reflecting on my life; where I had been and what the future was to hold. On that snowy day, I made peace with my past and found an appreciation for myself, as an adult. Although the snow melted, that day stayed with me.
With this past snow, I spent a joyous day with my family, playing outside with my precious nieces and nephew, I felt young again. Catching my reflection in the mirror, I was saddened for a moment as I saw the wrinkles in my skin and felt the aches that were now in my joints. How is it possible that time could pass so quickly? However, the sadness faded as quickly as it came. I felt a rush of joy and thankfulness because not only was I able to enjoy the snow as a child, I was able to appreciate the opportunity it brought to bring closeness to my family. As an adult, I felt a tremendous gratitude for nature, life, and God. I have been through so many different phases in my life. Every experience has made me the person that I am today. The lesson? Enjoy life with the enthusiasm and excitement of a child and appreciate life and experiences as an adult. Life is very much like the snow. It is magical and glorious, but it doesn’t last forever. Make many memories, take lots of photographs, and savor every moment. The snow, as are our lives, are truly gifts from God.