by Barbara Early
Big weather news coming out of Buffalo, NY: It seems we have no snow. Haven’t had any measurable snowfall yet this year, and this is the latest ever, shattering a record held for over 100 years. And whether you blame El Niño or global warming, there’s no snow in the immediate forecast, either.
I have to admit, I’m not shedding any tears. It’s nice to be able to throw on a light jacket when leaving the house, and not having to clean off cars and shovel driveways. I’ve noticed a few of my local Facebook friends missing the snow. (Although some of them are teachers, and it might be that they are missing snow days.) And the skiers and snowmobilers are anxious for some of the white stuff. I guess it’s a point-of-view thing.
I think most kids who are brought up in Northern climes start with positive feelings about snow. I recall being in a classroom, when someone looked out the window and announced, “It’s snowing!” We all ran to peer out at the magical white flakes. When you’re a kid, snow is a wondrous thing. It’s like toys falling free from the sky: you can catch the falling flakes on your tongue, fall into in and make snow angels, compact it into balls, form snowmen, even sled on it.
Songwriters seem to echo this positive sentiment. They dream of a “White Christmas,” talk about walking in a “Winter Wonderland,” bring “Frosty the Snowman” to life, and even plan on washing their hair with “Snow.” Which never really seemed like such a fun idea to me. Only a few buck the trend, starting with “In the Bleak Midwinter” or one of my favorites, “Little Jack Frost, Get Lost.”
As a writer, one challenge of writing a snowy scene is not only describing the weather, but filtering that description through the point-of-view character. Do they love snow, hate it? Or maybe they’ve just had too much of it.
But maybe the key to surviving a long Northern winter is recapturing that childhood point of view. Rolling with the punches. Appreciating the weather cards we’re dealt. After all, I’m sure snow will come eventually. I’m going to do my best to face the season with less grumbling and more awe…inside while wearing warm slippers and sipping a steaming mug of hot chocolate.