While the World Waits

The whole media, and most of the public, is buzzing in the Northeast about the “big one” we’re going to get starting tonight and running until Thursday morning. The snowfall predictions are impressive: fourteen to thirty-six inches in the area I live in.

Meteorologists have a love/hate relationship with stuff like this. It gives them a chance to be in the spotlight and show off all the cool colors their computerized maps can make, then explain all those cool colors to an audience. But they’re stuck in the eternal news mill, and I always sense an undertone of franticness in their reports. They either have to be so exciting that people switch channels just to watch them, or they have to be right more often than their colleagues.

Whatever. When the parent of one of my students mentioned the snowstorm yesterday, I didn’t think much of it. But then two different parents also said something, so this morning I watched the news, and sure enough, they were forecasting “a whopper,” “a storm for the record books”. We haven’t even started it yet!

I watched the evening news, but after it was over, I made a promise to myself: I wasn’t going to listen to anything else, and I was just going to enjoy the snow like we all once did as kids.

Before media saturation and electronic overload, before video-game sedimentation set in in our collective brains, we actually went outside and played. Big snowstorms were an excuse to imagine, make snow angels, build snowmen and igloos, convince ourselves we didn’t need wings to fly, only slippery sleds and a good, long hill (and even better, one with a couple of bumps and twists along the way to the bottom). If the hill got boring, you could always sled off the low roof of a barn, provided there was a humongous snowpile to cushion your landing.

We’d leave our houses and get swallowed up in the fantasy of a world where all sounds were muffled, and, if you lay very still under a pine tree, you could hear the snow whispering and escape discovery for hours if you wanted to.

We only came in for hot cocoa, or, long after dark, to go to bed. No school, no chores (well, there were, but you could hurry through them), and no limits on what you could conjur up to fill the day.

We become adults and lose that. If we play in the snow at all, we need other things to make it a plaything (skis, snowmobiles). We contemplate how cold it will be if some of the white stuff gets under the multilayered cocoon we’ve wrapped ourselves in, or we think we’re too stiff and ornery to make snow angels.

Well, I quit! I’m waking up tomorrow and going outside! My dogs love the snow, and their enthusiasm is contagious. So it won’t be long before, even without snow pants or “proper” gloves, I’ll be leaping, rolling, diving and generally acting foolish in it.

And you know what? I don’t care what anyone thinks. It’s my backyard, and I’ve got great teachers. Besides, I think they’ll both think it’s awesome that “Mommy” wants to play just like they do in the snow. (Well, almost; I draw the line at burying my head in it and snorting it up my nose! And if I decide to chuck a snowball at anyone, I’ll make and throw it with my hands instead of scooping it up in my mouth.)

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2 Comments on “While the World Waits”

  1. Grace Says:

    This whole post brought a smile to myself. I agree wholeheartedly! With all of the benefit that the electronic age has provided us, it sure has tripped us up in some ways, huh??? Every opportunity I get, I love to be in my house without ANY electronics on…no TV (not much of a watcher anyway…well, American Idol, House, Grey’s A and Ugly Betty seem to have caught my attention! lol) No phones. No music. It’s amazing how much I really miss the silence.

    hehehe Thumbs up on not snorting the snow..imagine THAT brain freeze? ;)

  2. halfnotes Says:

    Grace,

    Yeah, “Grey’s Anatomy” got me, too. I’ve got a knack for picking medical dramas that either die after one season, or I discover them years after everyone else so I’m really invested in it just as they’re getting ready to kill off the main character to end the whole thing! Good thing I’m not somebody’s financial analyst; they’d lose millions in the stock market!

    I did do a bit of snow-snorting by accident because I tripped over my own clumsy feet and fell (that’s how we got one of the photos of Ecko looking at me for the “Pure Joy” post!

    Thanks for the visit and the comment.


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