My love affair with snow started when I was very young. I'm not quite sure at what age, but I can remember being ecstatic when the white magic fell from the sky. It covered the ground, hiding all the imperfections of the earth. It sugar coated the trees, outlining the brown skeletons into glittery white bones. And, my favorite, it made personal ice rinks out of mud puddles, and you didn't even need skates. Pure bliss. It was truly magic to me. Magic I could taste on my tongue, magic I could hold in my hand, and it made my heart grin a silly little grin.
My best friend in the whole wide world lived next door, and her whole family knew all it took was ONE of those little white numbers to fall and hit the ground, and it would be my excited voice on the phone, calling, making sledding plans. Snow was something special, something so sweet and I longed for it in my early youth, in every single winter that came.
I believe the magic of it started to fade a bit somewhere around my early to mid teens. I still loved it, but it became more of a romantic notion, an ambiance, rather than magical and inviting. Friends were more important. Boys took up space in my heart. The snow took a back seat for a while, and melted into a warm puddle, and it waited, and waited, and waited. It had become the world with snow in it, not snow with the world around it.
During my early twenties, the allure of it all came back. Sledding was fun again, driving with Jeremy in the snow with our friends was a blast. The magic had returned with some awesome memory making snow storms, and I had Jeremy to enjoy it with, which mixed the romance with the magic, and brought it to a whole new level. Ahhh, it was soooo perfect for a few short years, before it ended.
The pleasures of the white magic came to a screaming halt along with many of life's simple pleasures after Vanessa passed. Winter came as she let go of this earth, and left me behind. I can't remember if there was snow that winter, or if there was any in the next handful of years to come, but I remember almost hating it. I was frozen inside with a numbness that wouldn't let me feel anything. Magic snow was gone. It was just weather to me.
It wasn't until Grace was about three, six years later, that snow peaked my interest again. A crack was felt in my chest. The ice was shuddering and shifting, letting go of a shard, and magic snow drew me in, tentatively, so I could introduce it to one of my daughters.
Grace was small and loved everything about it, of course. She didn't mind the cold, and I gave a half smile as her heart flew open to receive the magic and it swirled in her like a white hurricane, deep and true.
I wasn't sure I could love it again. I wasn't sure I could love much of anything again, but here was the sky letting go of it's magic for my girl to dance in, and it was beautiful.
Each snow since, has created a thaw inside, a love slowly and somewhat reluctantly awakening. I see that sparkle in Grace's eyes when the word snow is spoken. A sparkle I knew so well, a sparkle that may just be enough to complete the thaw.
Last year, it snowed on the anniversary of Vanessa's death. A big, beautiful snow. I held my face up to the sky that day, and swear I felt hundreds of her fingertips as the snow fell on my face. Her touch was soft, just like the snow, and that day I felt it. Magic.
Today it snowed. Slowly at first, then it came down in furious little white flurries. It came in the daylight, transforming our yard into a winter wonderland, right before our eyes, making my girl giddy.
And, maybe me a little bit, too.
Happy snow, everyone. Drive Safe.