Snow Days

Thoughts and images collected during a week of snow:

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I love a good blizzard. There is something so refreshing about the way that type of weather hits pause on the race of modern life. It’s sad but also true that it often takes a weather event like a blizzard to simplify life down to family, the warmth of a fire and a slower pace.

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Before the birth of our daughter, my husband and I often strapped on snowshoes in the midst of the storm and headed into the woods for a good romp with the dog. We blazed fresh trails, emboldened by the knowledge that we could always follow our own tracks back if we got really lost. Thick into the woods we trudged, heads bowed against the falling flakes. Occasionally we would pause and listen to the quiet. There is something so deep about the quiet of a woods filling with snow. When we finally traipsed back inside, shedding wet layers, I often felt rung clean and clear by the time spent communing with a bit of nature’s wildness.

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I snowshoed through the mountains of fresh powder yesterday, my young daughter strapped to my chest. We slipped between trees and under branches that drooped under a heavy, frosted weight. My daughter flapped her arms with excitement and watched delightedly as our dog moved like a dolphin to navigate the deep snow. The sun had pushed aside the clouds and the world literally sparkled. My heart lifted as my lungs filled with cold, fresh air and I felt my body work harder than in any gym as I put muscle into blazing a path through what was likely about two feet of snow.

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Has loving a snowstorm become a privilege? Is it reserved for the very young or those with a reliable heat source not hooked up to the grid or those who do not need to get somewhere quickly during or just after a storm? In other words, is it a privilege to be able to answer the call of a good snowstorm, the way it asks us to be cozy and quiet and the invitation, once the blizzard is over, to head outside and play?

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