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Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Friday, 14 December 2012

50 Words for Snow: Finding Joy in a Bushel Full of Winter

We had more snow in November here than we had all last winter.  Since it's usual for us to have heavy snowfalls throughout the season, this is impressive.  The snow keeps falling and falling and falling, along with the temperatures, which have hovered below seasonal normals (which is -9C for a daily high).  Since our winters tend to last well into March and July is the only month in which we've never had snow, it's wise to find ways to enjoy our winters. (Some people enjoy the season from afar; "snowbirds" fly off to warmer climes for a good part of the year. These birds can be quite cruel, with a mean tendency to send taunting messages back home about basking on beaches, walking on smooth sidewalks in the rain and other summery adventures.  It's hard not to swat them with a snowshoe sometimes.)

Today is a lovely day.  The temperature is -7C and the wind isn't too wild.  I had a pleasant walk downtown and back.  I started out in ice fog, early enough that the sun was still rising, glowing orange through the clouds while the western sky hummed a dusty deep blue.  I say "hummed" because the combination of snow, ice and fog reflected sounds that made the earth sing.  It was a "you had to be there" moment that I would have missed if I'd not walked to my destination.  By the time I came home, the clouds had cleared, the sun was out and the sky is now a rich blue that I never see anywhere except on the prairies.  

In honour of this lovely day, I've decided to list a few things I love about winter.  There may not be 50 reasons here, but perhaps mine will give you a start on appreciating the season:

  • Heavy snowfalls make everything look fresh and clean and muffle the city sounds.
  • Shovelling all that snow is good exercise.
  • Snow and ice allow flatlanders to wear ice grips on their boots although we're nowhere near mountains.
  • Balancing on ice while ploughing through snowbanks burns more calories than walking in the summer.
  • Dressing for the outdoors brings back memories of that winter classic movie, "A Christmas Story."  We know what it's like not to be able to lower our arms in our winter fashions.
  • We can wear as many handmade garments as we like and no one will consider us silly.  (If they do, they're too polite to say it.  My record is six: socks, sweater, hat, scarf, mittens and gloves under the mitts.)
  • If we stay inside, working on our spinning and knitting, no one will say that we're slacking off.  Neither will they protest if we tend to do this while enjoying a glass of wine, a hot toddy or a rum-soaked eggnog.  At least, they'd better not.
  • No one is surprised when we give them hand knit gifts for the holidays.  They may even be delighted.
  • All that white stuff is a great opportunity to meditate on the meaning of "Emptiness."
  • "I'm not sleeping off winter doldrums; I'm meditating."

Hoar frost makes everything beautiful.

So there you go-ten reasons to love the snow and cold.  I'm sure you have your own reasons for appreciating the solstice season.  And, if you're planning to flap off to some place warm, no need to write.  Really. I have my snowshoe ready.

Morris keeps an eye out for snowbirds.



  1. I envy you your snow and cold temps! So lovely to read some praise of winter. Enjoy it!

    1. I will, although I may be a bit less enthusiastic come the end of March!