When you live in coastal North Carolina snow is not something you see very often. Until the first week in March, we had gone all winter without a single flake. A good farmer friend of mine told me months ago that we would see snow in March, and I spent almost the entire winter hanging on to that hope. You see, I am one of those crazy folks who loves snow. I have missed it every winter since leaving Canada. I have missed it most every Christmas. And I sometimes hate that my kids are growing up without it, though I will say life is easier without snowsuits on a daily basis.
I wasn’t always a snow lover. For most of my adult life I hated winter, and everything that went along with it. The cold. Ugh. The long, dark nights. Ugh. And the snow….ugh, ugh, ugh. Having to get all bundled up. Fogged up glasses every time you went in or outside. Nostrils and lungs that felt frozen and hurt when you tried to breathe. 90 minutes for a drive that normally took 45. The gross look of snow, salt, and sand mixed on the side of the road…the brown piles of ugh. Yup, winter in Canada was not easy.
Then one year I made a decision.
I don’t remember when or how I came to it, but one year I decided to try loving winter.
I just decided to love it.
And you know what…it changed everything!
That year I started ice-skating at wonderful outdoor rinks every week. And I took up curling. I made every effort to enjoy the beauty that snow brings to the world. Instead of seeing the “dirty snow” on the side of the road, I noticed the marvel of snow in the treetops, or the beauty of ice crystals on the window. Instead of hating the long drives I would often carpool with my bestie, making them a fun opportunity for girl time.
Last week when it snowed I felt like a kid at Christmas. While so many around me were cursing the cold, I was over the moon happy to see splashes of sleet on my windshield. And then I saw snow on cars. Actual snow. What????
So what’s a Canuck in the south to do when it snows? I took a few hours off of work, grabbed the kids from daycare, and drove.
Destination? Unknown. But snow covered.
We checked the weather radar and hit the road until we found the fluffy white stuff. Problem was, we couldn’t find a park or anything similar and had no idea where we were. But we did find a church with an expansive front lawn, and an hour of great fun. We made snowmen. We threw snowballs. We got snow in our mitts and boots. We ran around like loonies. We were probably quite a site for the cars driving by, but for us, for that hour, the world around us ceased to exist.
That day. That hour. That is what is important in this life.
I’ve been trying to unpack why the snowfall was so exciting for me, why I NEEDED to ditch work and go play. Sure, part of it was the novelty of snow so close to the beach. Part of it was wanting my kids to know what snow feels like, smells like, tastes like. Part of it was definitely sentimental. But most importantly, it was a reminder to myself. A reminder that my mind is powerful, that I can chose how I react to situations and the environment around me.
All those years ago I chose to love winter and all that came with it. Last week I chose to honor that love. And every day I try to remember the power that my mind has over how I perceive or respond to the environment around me.
Cause man, that girl, she is a force!