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WRITE TEAM: Ready or not, snow's on the way

The first flakes of snow fell this year and I felt my anxiety immediately spike. I wasn’t even close to ready for that four-letter word to be spoken. I still had yard work to do, still had winter-proofing to do, still had much to do before I would be prepared for the bitter cold, the sloppy mess, the extra layers of clothes, and all that comes with that particular "S" word. Not to mention that it meant that the holidays were approaching faster than I was ready. However, mother nature had a different mindset. It didn’t matter if I was ready or not, the snow was here and it wasn’t going to go away anytime soon.

As I mumbled to myself about how inconvenient snow was as I cleared off my car, I felt a flutter deep inside. Somewhere deep inside, I still got butterflies like a little kid over freshly fallen snow. It was peaceful, beautiful, and held a kind of magic that very few other things in the world could compete with. I had to take a beat to remind myself that there are people who live in the world who have no idea what snow is like, have never experienced the joy of catching a snowflake on their tongue or seeing a frozen snowflake on a window pane.

That moment made me stop to ponder, when did my love of winter, love of snow, and the belief that it held magic in its flakes disappear? I believe that it began to wane the year when Christmas lost some of its magic. I think that having to shovel out and drive through it made it far less magical. I think all of that coupled with the aches that I now get in my bones when it’s cold out makes it really simple to highly dislike snow. As an adult, that word is now whispered in hushed tones of fear, but I remember as a child yelling it to the rooftops, ecstatic for a day to play in the snow.

It is so easy for adults to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, to get wrapped up in the extra effort it takes to get through our days when it snows, so easy for us to lose sight of what a wonderful gift snow is.

This winter, I want to push myself to see past all of that, to find the childlike amusement, to find the blissful joy, to find the fun of winter again. It won’t take much but I’ll have to push myself out of that bah humbug mode to get there.

The next time it snows, I want to invite you to join me. Take a moment to make a snow angel, build a snowman or a snow fort, throw a snowball, go sledding, or try out a new activity like snow painting, then go inside and cuddle up on the couch or in front of the fire and put on your favorite winter song or movie as you enjoy a nice warm mug of cocoa or apple cider.

Then the next morning as you are going about your regular daily routine, take a second to pause and smile at the memory of the day before and how it made your heart full of cheer. Take a moment to appreciate the magic of snow, because it really is a wondrous sight to behold.

SARAH CAMERON, of Ottawa, who grew up in Seneca, is a working mother by day, passionate writer by night, saving the world one word at a time.

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