Do you want to know what the most pure form of living is? It involves living where, for most of the year, you are enveloped by a blanket of white purity. Cold? Yes. But there is a warmth about living in a version of “the great outdoors” where snow provides nature’s version of soundproofing. Voices sound softer. Traffic is muffled naturally (although usually in a place where snow stays pure and white, there isn’t much traffic to be heard).
Footsteps feel almost comforting when cushioned by a thick layer of snow – not the kind that melts and quickly and becomes slippery slush. I mean the kind that gives a little and makes that sound of slow motion compaction. Animal and human tracks are nothing more than a shadow trailed across a white canvas depending on where the sunlight is. Powdered trees sparkle like in the Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” I mean it – they sparkle. Untouched tree limbs look like a winter fairy came along after the snowfall and emptied the world’s supply of glitter in a pattern only nature could devise.
You can immerse yourself in a river, lake, or ocean in nicer weather. But you can shape and build with snow. Snow is nature’s way of saying, “Yes it can,” when you ask the question, “Can water come out to play?”
Please note: I like snow for about five minutes. After that, I dislike it with a passion. Why I decided to disregard this fact when taking this opportunity to play a bigger role in youth work and come to Idaho, to a place and elevation engulfed in heavy amounts of snow for much of the year, I may never discover.
I wrote this tribute for M, who adores snow and asked that I write as if in the character of M.