Most of the time, if you asked me, I would tell you I hate snow. I hate feeling either cold and wet or weighed down with bulky, unattractive waterproof clothing. I hate scraping snow off my car and shoveling it off my sidewalks and driveway. I hate driving to work over slippery streets and walking over icy sidewalks. I hate having to get up 30 minutes early to account for the time all of this takes so I can still arrive on time. But like most things in life, it’s more complicated than that. I do love the beauty of swirling snowflakes, the intricate forms landing on my windshield for a brief moment before melting away in the heat of the defroster. I do love the intricate shapes of trees, so much more visible than they ever are without the delineation of snow. I do love the coziness of sitting inside with an afghan and a mug of hot chocolate watching the snow fall outside. I do love the sense of peace and hush that temporarily quiets our noise.
I remember being a child and loving playing in the snow, making snow angels and tiny snowmen with the scant snow that fell in my southern hometown. I remember snow days and the joy of an unexpected gift of a day spreading out before you with no responsibilities. Even as a young child I can remember loving the smooth pristine whiteness of early morning snow, before any footsteps broke the expanse. I didn’t begin to hate snow until college, when I became an adult, when my world no longer stopped for a snowfall. When snow just meant additional stress and hassle to accomplish the work I was already planning to do. When snow represented an extra burden in an already overcrowded life. Perhaps I don’t really hate snow. Perhaps I just miss the freedom of childhood to revel in snow and take a break from everyday life.