Winter Glistens

I know we’re at that time in winter when many of us have seen enough snow. We’re looking ahead to the spring, the thaw, the warm-up… but can I just say, today the snow was something else.

My mom has a Christmas village, with ceramic houses and shops, figurines of ice skaters and chimney sweeps, even a mountain and woodland stream. It’s beautiful, and I help her set it up every year on the table my dad brings in to the living room just for the village. Before setting up any buildings or features, we roll out a sheet of white batting to lay a snowy foundation. Once everything is set up, we have a bag of artificial snow that we can sprinkle over everything. The artificial snow is a confetti mix of matte white and iridescent flecks. And that’s what I shoveled off my car and driveway this morning. It looked just like the artificial snow, with the iridescent flecks that catch the light and give the snow a magical, glittery sparkle. And it was as light as air.

In New Jersey, our snow is often wet and heavy, which is great for making snowmen and not-so-great for shoveling. It coats tree branches and phone wires with its wet weight, making everything sag and droop. It piles up on roofs, making homeowners nervous. Sometimes the snow is lighter and more powdery, so it lays more gently on the trees and is easily swept off of driveways and windshields. Today was the extreme of light and powdery.

There’s a dogwood tree right outside my bedroom window, so when I woke up this morning, I could see that we had gotten another thick coating of snow during the night and early morning. It was still coming down in fact, in big flakes that swirled toward the ground. Lucky for me, our offices weren’t opening right away, so I took my time getting up. I walked down to our living room and, outside that corner of the house, our evergreen trees were glistening with the layers of white powder. I bundled up and went outside to clear the driveway and car and it was quiet and peaceful and chilly in a refreshing kind of way. The snow just brushed off the car, so dry and airy and sparkling, I felt like I lived in my mom’s Christmas village.

We’re buried under inches and inches of snow, (in New England and other parts of the country it’s feet and feet), and it’s been bitterly cold lately, so I’m craving the end of winter like everyone else. But this morning that craving gave way to an appreciation for a beautiful layer of magic. So I’m settling in to winter for another little while, because the spring will come, but right now it can take its time.

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