The Real-Life Magic of Snow
As I sit in my house, observing the newly fallen snow, I’m reminded of fond childhood memories. The thing about it is that I don’t have any negative memories of snow. On the contrary, all my memories are positive, even magical. Why is that? For me, the snow beckons to a simpler time, when I depended on others for necessities, such as transportation to and from the grocery store, and food itself.
When I was younger, snow was magical, in that it could disrupt every-day life in such a romantic way, blanketing the world in white so as to make it appear like the outside was clean and at peace. And for a moment, it seemed that way. As my brother and I stayed inside, wearing our loafers and pajamas, sipping hot chocolate with our parents, we experienced our own movie scene, while the snow watched, from the ground and from atop skeleton trees.
Ice was different. It was related to the snow, but it had violent, even aggressive tendencies. The ice could not be played with like its brother, the snow. Nor could it rest atop the trees or the roads without bringing some type of destruction. The ice could be an ally if it meant school closings, but beyond that, the ice could take life itself. So it was to be seen, but one could never become too intimate with the ice, or it would bite back.
I remember staying up with my brother past our bedtimes, hoping to see the first flurry of snow on a cool January night. This was the only time my brother and I faithfully watched the news as youngsters, knowing the second our school flashed across the screen, we would be free of our childhood responsibilities for at least one day. Since our parents were teachers, they would go to bed at their routine times, but we knew they also prayed for a closing, knowing they, too, would be relinquished of responsibilities and the stressors of being educators should enough snow fall.
And if it did, the snow was the heroine, saving all of us from another routine day for a day of new opportunities. I think that’s why snow is so special for me. Since I live in Arkansas where snow is rarer than places such as Colorado or Washington State, that makes it all the more unique, all the more magical when it actually happens. It comes only a few times a year, so we Arkansans treasure it when it should grace us with its presence.
That’s why snow has so many positive connotations for me — it beckons to a time when I was surrounded by family, before life got in the way, and my brother and I created lives for ourselves. It beckons to hot chocolate and school closings, to late-night grocery trips to the local Farmer’s Market, to poorly-constructed snowmen in our yard, as my Mom took pictures with her Kodak camera. The snow seems magical because it is magical, and in a world where it seems every trace of magic is rooted out, I’m appreciative for it, and I hope you are, too.