Random Thoughts

I Love Snow

... A fantasy world for leprechauns and small creatures
... we dreamed of a White Easter

by Jackie Wattenberg

I love snow. Don't tell anyone. It's a secret. But I love snow.

It's a sort of miracle to wake up one morning and look out the window and discover the world wrapped softly in white. And it happened so quietly, without a sound, no fanfare or publicity.

The world is prettied up with snow. Ugly streets and shanties get a new happier look with snow. The Fells across the street is smutched with white on its bushes and ridges and boulders, a brown and white sculpture Rodin would have loved.

A few years ago when I lived in Salem, I saw a wondrous sight for the first time: in every small hole, crevice or indentation in the snow was a richness of aquamarine blue! A fantasy world for leprechauns and small creatures.This phenomenon was never explained to me; I've never researched it... maybe it's from pollution. I showed others, even took photos of it, another miracle.

Most people hate snow, not if they're skiers or sledders, of course. But they have to drive in it, slide in it, get stuck in it. Well, I know how they feel, now that I learned to drive -- just two years ago. Shrewdly, I kept my fondness for snow to myself. "Wow, another lousy snowfall! I hope we don't get anymore!" drivers would complain. "Yeah, isn't it awful?" I'd fake it. "What a mess!"

But I loved it. I don't lie down on a bed of snow and swirl angel wings. I rarely go out to build a snowman, though I've always thought of building a snow woman. My dog loved snow too, loved to catch snow balls, for hours and hours. But my poor cat has no aesthetic sense; he stands in the open door surveying the lovely new white world with chagrin, freezing us while he mulls over the big decision -- to go out or use the litter box. With hissing and a snag of growls, he turns back inside, so disgusted that he swipes me with a frustrated paw because I made such nasty weather for him. What a coward.

But I love snow. Even when it keeps me from driving somewhere. Maybe it's because I'm from Buffalo, where snow was invented. We kids walked down our street every day between mountains of snow on both sides of the sidewalk, no rides to school, and I can't ever recall a day of Buffalo school called off because of a snowstorm. We were used to snow; we had it from Labor Day until the Fourth of July.

One year in Chicago when our daughters were small, our spring tulips, purple, yellow, red, orange, were decorated with snow -- a lovely sight! Our daughters and a couple of friends caroled up and down the street "We're dreaming of a White Easter!"

I love snow. Don't tell anyone. It's a secret.

August 6, 1999

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