Sunday, December 6, 2009

S'no wonder

What is it about the first snowfall that excites us, that brings back that sense of childlike wonder? Even the most jaded, the most inured to snow has to admit to that little frisson of elation as those first frosty flakes fall.

I was thinking about that today as I drove up to my mom's. We only had some wet snow mixed in with the rain in South Jersey, and it melted the moment it hit the ground. But as soon as I headed north out of Philadelphia, the ground was white, and the foothills of the Pennsylvania mountains were a winter wonderland.

I can think of at least three reasons I love the snow. First, it's a silent surprise. Unlike rain or wind or other weather phenomena, the snow falls without sound. You can be sitting around reading or watching TV or doing whatever you like and all of a sudden you look out the window... OMG! It's snowing! Even when you're expecting it, it's still a thrill.

Second, it's pure, covering all the ugliness of reality with pristine whiteness. Yeah, I know, it probably picks up all kinds of pollutants from our tainted atmosphere, and it certainly isn't pretty after it's been sitting on the side of the road for a few days. But that initial fall of virginal white sparkling in the sun makes my heart swell.

Third, snow is beautiful.
Every snowflake is unique and wonderful, a lacy filigree of crystals forming a work of art. I realize it's science, a matter of chemistry, air currents, temperature, humidity and so on. Still, I can't help but imagine God looking down after creating the first snowflake and saying, "Oooh, pretty!"

Silent, pure, beautiful. That's what I think.

What do you think?


  1. I think you should keep writing.

    Besides that, I am perhaps so jaded I'm jaundiced, so inured I'm injured, my frissons turned rigid with frigidity...well, you get the picture. Yet you made me crave a snowfall. Almost. :)

    All kidding aside, thanks for this bit of writing, babe. Really enjoyed it, and the "Oooh, pretty!" line? Marvelous.


  2. love snow, and I think you figured out all the major reasons!
    ....a life time ago (or a life time and a half???) I had an essay about snow published in our newspaper...its somewhere on one of my blogs...

  3. Tartlet, I was expecting you to scoff and sniff and tell me how much snow sucks. Thanks for surprising me!

    Trish, if you can find that essay I'd love to read it! Thanks for commenting!

  4. I'm jealous! We get so little snow here in the south. But it's always absolutely breathtaking when it covers the trees.

    We have an extra reason to love the snow here in Georgia. We almost never get snow and ice so our state has little in the way of plows and salt or sand. So we get snow days for even the threat of snow and ice. The kids love it and I love it when we're forced to cocoon.

    And I agree. Very pretty writing, Dee!


  5. Thanks, Nicole. They're almost as bad in Jersey, except they wait until it actually starts snowing to cancel school.

    And sorry I missed this comment until now. I've been a mess this week and it got buried in the bottom of my inbox until today.

    :) Dee