By Vaughn Samuels
What is it about snow that makes us so giddy?
Technically speaking, snow is bad news. Snow is “inclement weather” that slows down business, threatens would-be drivers, taunts power outages, and tests the resolve of aging roofs and iffy tree limbs. Snow is not friendly to human touch, and must be managed with shovels and plows if the business of living is to continue taking place. I get it. But all of those noble curbings pale in comparison to the unsullied joy that only snow can bring (at least to the young at heart).
For all its cons, snow is one of those transcendent flukes that has a way of bringing out the best in us. And in my many years on this Earth being fascinated by snow, I’ve found that people fall into one of two categories where all things snowy are concerned:
Category A: Snow Treaders
Category B: Snow Dreaders
I’ve also come to the conclusion that about 70% of us enter into this life eager to romp right into the stuff as Snow Treaders, with about 30% leftover, skating by as Snow Dreaders (no pun intended). As a lifelong snow-bred member of Category A, I can attest that the sight of snow transports me instantly to a very special place. Snowfall cues me into a state of mind that just can’t be “gotten to” through any other prompt. (Granddaddy called it “Falling Weather”.) I am openly and knowingly affected by the sudden change in the world around me, and I like it! As the sky turns into one gigantic pillow of a cloud, I welcome the snowflakes, snow flurries, and snowscapes that instantly shake those of us below like a snow globe. It’s a place where busyness disappears, and memories of childlike awe take over. For me, snow is a covering, that suspends us all in its glistening grasp and forces us to frolic in its wonder, until it is good & ready to let us go. For some that means unkept hours of making snow angels, snowmen, snowballs, and snow pictures. For others it means curling up in the warmest nook of the house with a bowl of chicken soup and a half-finished novel, occasionally glancing out the window to peer at us fools outside, naively risking frostbite.
And there’s no place better to experience the snow as it was meant to be, than in the country. Being in the South, snow in East Alabama is the exception rather than the rule. Snow is considered rare in these parts, and often goes years before recurring—-all the more special for us Snow Treaders, as snow days are that much more of a treat to be savored and relished. And as my Michigan friends recount, it is easier to accept the snow down South because there is just so much of it around up North, that the joy gets lost in the danger of it all.
So as I respect the frugal fears of the detractors in Category B, my head remains snow-ied but unbowed. For even the Snow Dreaders are susceptible to the glory of the snow, as they occasionally, however unwittingly, let tempered hails escape their lips, like, “Well if it does have to snow, at least it is appealing to look at.” (pun intended)
(Views expressed are that of the author Vaughn Samuels, and not of any employer.)