I sit at my desk watching the blizzard of snow fall and swirl as I see two hints of spring: a blooming, potted daffodil on my window ledge and a robin sitting on a branch just outside my window. As the snow blinds the view, most of nature, even humans, is habernating, waiting for the storm to pass except for that one loan robin. I wonder why it is flying about. After all, there is no food to be had, except what is deep under the snow. I am in awe of nature and the juxtapostion it sometimes presents.
Yesterday, I wrote on my facebook page, "Uncle!," wanting to surrender to the reality of nature. Some of you know I grew up in upstate NY where I have experienced snow piled to roof lines. However, that was many years ago and I have lived in DC for 18 years where we don't get this kind of snow. I measured 28 inches on Saturday and who knows what we will get today. Besides all of the shoveling (we had our cars dug out on Saturday night and most of the street by Sunday which was an exception to the rule in the county), we have been having a lot of fun, sledding everyday and making snow forts and tunnels with the kids, just like I remember as a kid. Every winter, my brother and I would join the hoards of neighborhood kids on the hill behind our neighborhood for the best sledding adventures. In addition, he and I loved building snow tunnels and forts in the huge mounds of snow left by the plows. We would be outside for hours until night time, finally having to come in when mom called for dinner. It has been like that a lot around my neighborhood this week. With no snow, the cold winters here are harder for kids to get outside to bike, scoot, and play on the playground. However, I am not making excuses for them because it is not impossible. Snow on the ground creates possibilities and imagination for kids. I have enjoyed witnessing snow ball wars, toy trucks on built snow forts , and the wahoo screams as kids and adults whip down the hills sledding. With Sunday's sunshine and beautiful blue skies, the kids were outside all day not thinking about how tired or bored or hungry they were. For example, the boys from across the street were outside from breakfast until 3:00 pm when their mom brought them a PB&J sandwich. They were having so much fun they forgot to eat lunch. Of course, the visual of the sandwich triggered an avalanche of, "oh, I'm hungry too" from the rest of the bunch. Snow is amazing, not only because of its physically beauty, from the minute snow crystals to the landscape effect, but also for the profound joy and happiness it brings to kids and the kid in all adults.