The snow came yesterday. Just the night before I reminisced about how magical it felt as a child to wake up in the early morning hours, pressing nose to the windows to see if it had happened, if the world had been transformed overnight.
Here in South Carolina, snow is a rare thing. We might get one snow a year. Usually our winter storms bring coating after coating of ice instead ... which holds its own magic and its own complications.
I don't remember playing in the snow as a child. I do remember being older and dragging huge pieces of cardboard down the street. We had two steep hills to throw ourselves upon their mercy. One year my friends and I stomped out the local news logo in the blank snow yard of an empty neighboring house. Why? I guess we knew it would garner attention and it did. I'm pretty sure they came out and took a photo or something.
Growing up snow and ice were the key to escaping another torturous day at school. I didn't want to play in it. The whole point was that I had a day to stay at home. I loved watching from the window, mourning when people would walk across the perfect white blanket.
In the mothering years, snow was not my friend. I always felt a surge of guilt anytime the snow would come. We were ill prepared with winter garments. It never made sense to spend our limited clothing budget on articles of clothing that might get used once a year if at all. Snow play meant piecing together the warmest we had which were never enough and certainly were not protection against the wet. In and out the children would go, while I kept watch over pots of hot chocolate and kept the dryer running in between their play sessions. My role then and now leans toward staying out of the way and creating the base to touch when needed.
Now the children have grown to adults. A new worry settles in as the world doesn't stop, the work doesn't stop and I know they must navigate their routes along side drivers not used to winter weather and roads ill prepared by a system not equipped to deal with the snow and the ice.
Snow looks light, should feel light but it is so very heavy. I feel that now. I sat down to write about the magical transformation of snow. One day I will believe in that again. Right now, reality is too present. I have to write what is in front of me. I will look out the window and say that the snow is beautiful but is as close as I want to be to it. It's too heavy for me to carry.