Wednesday, November 11, 2015
First Snowfall of the Season
I'm not talking the first snow of the year, but the first snow of the season, after you've gone through the heat of summer and then watched the leaves falling, and then finally, even before you expect it (like this crisp morning in Colorado) you wake up to little crystals coating every surface of your yard and house.
My very first thought immediately flies to Christmas. So many good memories are tied up in Christmas for me, traditions, family and friends, books and movies, Christmas concerts, gifts under the tree, an elderly cat happily drugged out on catnip with her paws wrapped around her Christmas stocking. The very first snow of the season reminds me that winter is almost here, and with it, Christmas. Even though the sun bursts through the clouds by 10 am, melting all of the snow by noon, it was still there, and it still turned my thoughts to December.
Snow also reminds me of other things. Like when I lived on the coast of Oregon as a child and only experienced snow twice. Caitlin and I made the tiniest snowman ever on both of those occasions and then watched him shrink each day until he looked rather like an emaciated albino penguin. Or how about the move to Colorado when I was 14-years-old, to a house in definite snow country, and that winter falling in love, absolute love, with snow and sleds and full-sized snowmen.
Snow reminds me of my father on Christmas Eve, sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night with sleigh-bells tied to a pole and jingling them against our bedroom wall. Even though now I know it was my father, a part of me still does, and always will, believe in Santa.
That first thin layer of white is a promise of goodness and warmth and family, of love and of charity. Of giving to others who don't have anything, of giving my younger sister a hug on Christmas morning, of curling up with a good book and a cup of hot tea with the cat on the end of my bed.
Yes, winter is my favorite season. I know technically it's still fall, but with that first snow in the late autumn, my heartbeat quickens just a little bit and I look at that red sweater hanging in the closet, wondering if I dare to wear it yet, and deciding that yes, I will wear it, because it makes me happy, and because Christmas is coming.
What are your first thoughts when you see the first snow of the season?