Last Friday, we awoke in Houston to a magical wintery wonderland. Jack Frost had visited and left behind the gift of SNOW! My husband’s giggle woke me before dawn, as he looked out our window to see the thick blanket of fluffy white flakes. As adults, we were tickled to see the snow, but we were more excited with the fact that we were going to share in our two- year old son’s first experience with snow. Imagine, seeing that wonder and curiosity erupt in a little one for the first time. We settled back down for a bit, anticipating our son’s reaction to the snow. When was the last time you felt that joy of experiencing something for the very first time? To see in someone’s eyes the wonder and joy of seeing something they didn’t even know existed.
We woke him early, for fear the snow would melt quickly. When we opened the drapes to his windows and he looked out onto the whitened landscape he was filled with awe. His eyes grew and lit up, and he pointed at the frosted branches of the trees just outside his window. And then, he found words, “Oh, WOW!” And again, “Oh, Wow.” Indeed, Oh wow!
Outside, bundled up in his winter coat, mittens, and rain boots, he walked cautiously onto the snow-covered grass. He wasn’t quite sure what he was seeing and stepping on. He tried grabbing it with his mitted hands, and when it stuck, he shook them vigorously to get the snow off. He and his daddy made a snowman almost his height. Our little one spent quite a bit of time sizing our snowman up, you could almost see his wheels turning as he tried to figure it all out. It was all fun and games until snow that had been stuck to his mitten, found its way into his coat, that then worked itself under his shirt. He discovered, then, that this beautiful white mystery substance was cold, very cold! He was the one who finally put an end to our outside time in the snow, wanting to get warm he marched himself to the back door to let himself in. What a fun morning we had playing in the snow!
Growing up in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, I have fond memories of snow. I loved that first snow of the season and the beauty it brought. We would spend hours outside playing in the snow – sledding, building snowmen, making snow angels; but my favorite thing to do was to sit and take it in. I don’t remember the first time I played in snow, it occurred when I was just a babe, in Minnesota. There are snow storms I do remember clearly. One being the Blizzard of 1982, which occurred on Christmas Eve. My little sister, then 2 ½ would peer out the window yelling, “It’s a lizard out there!” My dad spent most of Christmas Day shoveling snow (3 feet of it) from our driveway so we could still get out to celebrate with the rest of our family. My sisters and I put on our coats and boots, mittens, and hats and spent most of the day building snow tunnels, making snow angels, and sledding. Then we took a harrowing drive to the other side of our little valley to spend Christmas evening with our extended family (who had also spent the day shoveling so we could walk up their long drive). It was a holiday I will never forget.
Snow. Ice crystals that have fallen from the sky in intricate patterns – each beautifully unique. When you think about the conditions that have to occur in order for snow to develop and make its way down to earth, especially here in Houston, makes it that much more special. One of my favorite things is to just sit, watch and listen to the snowfall. It is so peaceful and calming. In this busy season when we are running around preparing for this season, take a moment and find some peace and find your calm. Breathe in and out and close your eyes. Imagine the steady fall of snowflakes falling towards the earth in steady succession. Take time to take in the little things this season of wonder and snow!