A “winter storm” just blew through my little town in southern California, prompting tornado warnings, home evacuations for many due to potential mudslides after last month’s fire, and incredibly laughable media coverage. We certainly endured rivers in our streets here and there, gusts of wind, and sheets of rain, but nothing as was predicted (thankfully!), and certainly not like what the rest of the country has struggled through.
Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorite authors and her book, Snow, struck a chord with me, especially as so many deal with the realities of ceaseless snow, bitter chill, and winter weariness.
Rylant has such a way with words, conjuring images, emotions, and the simplest yet most poignant thoughts: “some snows fall only lightly, just enough to make you notice the delicate limbs of trees, the light falling from the lamppost, a sparrow’s small feet.” She manages to highlight the beauty and joy of winter.
And of course, this page…”and the snow, while it is here, reminds us of this: that nothing lasts forever except memories.” When we venture to the mountains or Wisconsin and play in the snow as a family, I am often in a flurry to capture images of us all making snow angels, cocooned in winter gear, or just the flakes falling from the sky. The trick is to just BE knowing that to truly enjoy, I must put down the camera and let the memories be what I am left to hold on to.
“And while the snow is here this brief moment, let us take a walk and see how beautiful the world is…the snow is falling while the flowers sleep and the sun sleeps and the soft green gardens are waiting. It is the snow’s turn now.”
Winter weary, many are struggling to embrace these moments that certainly don’t feel fleeting. Spring feels distant. But, I hope with a book like Snow and perhaps a quiet minute to jot down a few things one does appreciate about winter – a silent walk in the powder, snow dusting the trees, frost on the windows, a cozy fire or a hair-raising plunge down a slope (yes, even the smallest slope was hair-raising for me) – you will all find your “best snow…one that comes softly in the night, like a shy friend afraid to knock, so she thinks she’ll just wait in the yard until you see her. This is the snow that brings you peace.”