SNOW! As soon as the first flake falls my news feed on Facebook blows up with complaints and groans. Why have we made snow a bad four letter word?
My earliest memory of snow took place in my suburban neighborhood in New Jersey. I don’t remember the year but I do remember the amount. When the plows finished their work the snow towered above my head, large white mountains pushed and created at the end of our cul-de-sac. And a boy ready to explore and conquer. All afternoon I climbed those snow mountains, dug tunnels and claimed the top like it was an Everest expedition. The only complaint I had was when dad told me it was time to come inside.
I never really grew out of that phase. Now I climb mountains in the Cove covered in snow. No need to wait for the plow trucks to create them. Today I still like snow. I look forward to it and when the first flake falls I find myself looking out the window in anticipation, wide-eyed like a little boy staring into the window of Macy’s at Christmas.
We’ve become so accustomed with the comforts of our modern world we’d rather sit inside and stare at social media or the latest reality T.V. show and when the first flake falls we give a quick complaint about winter and go back to our illuminated screens and man made entertainment.
After the first snow fell last winter and everyone was busy shoveling their driveways and ranting their dislikes, I set out for a hike. I hiked to a vantage point that I knew would give me the best view of the Cove. For the short time I stood on that vista life had stopped and nothing really mattered. I was that boy again climbing a snow mountain looking at a view that left me in awe of how God can create such a beautiful painting using a lot of white.I’ve had the privilege of living in a few different places over the years, and of them, the Cove is the most beautiful when it snows. Mountains that had lost its fall colors and sit a dormant dull brown are no longer boring. Trees that sat naked since the fall are now clothed in white as the sun shines on them like a spot light with the mountains as their grand stage. Icicles form from barn roof tops and old weather vanes catching a beam of sunlight and casting a glimmer across the ground. In the distance an Amish horse and buggy is making its way down the mountain. On my way home after our hike I see where they stopped. A local pond where they met friends and family for an afternoon of ice skating. In the distance I can see Bean Hill and I know it will only be a matter of time before it’s filled with excited kids sledding until their fingers are numb. The days are shorter during the winter and so are my hiking trips. It was time to head back, but not without one last look. I wanted to soak it in, to brand it in my mind like a photograph to take with me.
As I drove home that snowy day, my toes warming up from the heat in the car I made one last stop…Mamie’s. What better way to end a beautiful hike in the snow then to take home a cup of Mamie’s coffee, sit in my comfortable chair by the fireplace and reflect on what God had just shown me. The beauty of the Cove covered in snow.
So when the first snow falls this season don’t make it a bad four letter word. God created snow to take the bland boring dormant colors of brown and gray and paint us a beautiful picture using nothing but white. When snow falls it’s gentle and quiet. There is a feeling of peace and calm. When the first snow falls take a moment to sit, relax, unplug from whatever electronic device that is glued to your hand. Stare out the window and watch the snow. Remember the days of old when you were a kid playing in it without a care in the world until your fingers were numb and your dad called you inside for supper. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll step out and be brave. Put on your winter gear and take a hike in the snow even if it’s around your neighborhood. I promise you it will remove the winter blahs and hum-bugs. You might even change your view of snow and it will no longer be a bad four letter word. You might even see the Cove in way you haven’t noticed in a long time.