Remember playing in the snow?
At what age do kids stop wanting to play in the snow? Sure, they go back to it from time to time. There are moments when the most aloof teenager and stodgy grown-up revert to their 5-year-old selves — maybe to throw a snowball, sled down a hill or sink into the powder on skis, a snowboard or snowshoes.
But at some point, typically, a child stops wanting to do it all the time. Snow becomes something to shovel rather than something to build a fort in. And that is sad.
We love winter. If you don’t agree, fine, but please hear us out.
Snow is good. So is ice, in its own way. Getting out on skis, skates or snowshoes is brilliant exercise and helps improve balance. Roaming the Adirondack trails on a snowmobile is a great adventure. Catching fish through holes in the ice is a subtle art — challenging and, if successful, perhaps the most rewarding of all winter activities. Nothing tastes like fresh-caught fish.
Also, just being out in the snowy woods or on a frozen lake brings one’s soul closer into alignment with one’s maker — or, if you don’t believe in God, with the entirety of nature. It helps refresh our brains and settle our emotions into a healthier balance. It also puts us among our non-human neighbors, giving us a chance to see animals, identify their tracks and know the trees by their bark.
This winter has been mild; until recently it wasn’t very good for snow and ice activities. November was nice and snowy, but in December and the first half of January, it seemed like rain followed every snowfall, especially on weekends. It was a bit depressing, and we started to see a bit of cabin fever in our friends and family members.
But as outdoor outlets open their doors, more people are able to find release and peace.
Of course, this isn’t just a winter thing. People seek the same kind of release in other seasons, too. But it is important to do so in winter, even if it is just going out for a walk, gazing at the snow-covered trees or contemplating the birds at the feeder.
Remember the child in you that loved the snow. Revisit it.
Embrace winter, and you may find yourself falling in love with it. For us, it’s been a long love affair. Sure, there are chilly times when we need to bundle up, and blustery times when we must brave biting winds. But at the end lies a hot drink and the perfect sight of snow falling gently on tree boughs.