First Snow

Winter is always coming when you live in the north, and it’s still a surprise. Every year, the first snow blankets the landscape and like magic, I forget what not winter looks like. The world is just white and frozen, and it feels as though it has always been so. Green and leaves are not even memories because that’s how deep winter penetrates.

I have ever mentioned that I hate winter? It wasn’t always so. As a child, I loved snow. Maybe it’s part of being born in a winter month or maybe it’s just that winter is so easy when you aren’t responsible for adulting while enduring it. Being an adult certainly killed the joy that was winter when I was young.

When I was ten, I raced outside every night after supper to play in the snow. Sledding until my corduroys were frozen stiff and my mittens were crusted with ice. It’s a wonder I never suffered from frostbite.

During the pandemic, I regained a bit of that winterish outdoor joy. I walked in the snow every day. Properly bundled, of course. Perhaps it was the lack of worldly obligations that made it more delightful? Like when I was a kid? I was not compelled to be anyone. Risk anything on icy roads. It was snow day after snow day.

Now that the powers that be have declared the pandemic over (though the evidence suggests that is more than just wishful thinking) there is pressure to risk when we should stay put.

My elderly self is not as winter hardy (or foolish) as my ten year old self. A fall would likely break something. Thinner skin less likely to weather a bout with frostbite.

I need a place to winter now where winter isn’t a hazard, but I am afraid snow-birding is not a thing in this “post” pandemic world for those of us who don’t think as magically as others.

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