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Rose Meeks Jones: All is calm, all is white

Writer

Rose Meeks Jones

Rose Meeks Jones

By Rose Meeks Jones

Special to the Salisbury Post

I love snow; I admit it. There’s something about softly falling snow that always brings out the kid in me. 

I still get absolutely giddy with anticipation when its arrival is imminent.  I find myself humming and smiling as the flakes begin to fall; everything is quiet except for the hiss of the snow hitting the window panes.  It feels like Christmas and summer vacation all wrapped up in one.

Snow. As children, we awaited its arrival with wide-eyed eagerness.  There was nothing quite like seeing that first flake fall and looking forward to the promise of a day off from school and a chance to build snowmen or a snow fort, to create snow angels and to scream with delight flying down a hill on a sled, the wind in our faces, our cheeks aglow with cold, eyes dancing with merriment.  We had a lot of those days when I was a kid back in Tennessee, and with three older brothers, I was always tagging along on snow adventures.

All the moms in the neighborhood bundled us kids up and sent us out to play in the snow.  The favorite sledding hill was right next to where we lived. Our parents would build a bonfire at the top and at the bottom of the hill.  Moms would send thermoses of hot chocolate and the makings for s’mores.  Not everyone had a sled, but we shared and everyone had a go at the hill.  This one was particularly wonderful, for once you hit the bottom there was a long straightaway and a slow curve at the very end, at least a full city block long.

Many were the adventures we had out in the snow.  We spent days trudging through the woods with trees decked out in white pretending to be human snowballs rolling down the hills, marveling at the icicles on the rocks in the creek, having snowball fights. We’d head home wet and frozen to the bone with noses running to warm up by the fireplace and change into dry duds.  Mom would have soup and sandwiches ready for lunch.  Thus fortified, out we’d go to do it all over again, not to be seen back home until it began to get dark. Our laughter and chatter carried through the streets in the stillness of the snowy twilight. We’d get home in time for supper, get a hot bath and snuggle into our PJs tuckered out from the sheer joy of our winter’s delight.

Birdfeeders filled our backyard year-round and were particularly popular on snowy days.  I would spend hours watching the birds out the window, my arms on the sill raptly watching the brilliant red cardinals and their much less showy mates, charming little chickadees, the little gray tufted titmouse, diminutive brown wrens, brash bluejays, dark gray juncos – all with their accompanying songs and bright little eyes hungry for the bounty of our feeders.

Since I was little, I’ve always loved walking in the snow.  Things are hushed and peaceful.  The tiniest sounds are amplified and muffled all at the same time.  Walking through the snow is good for the soul and breathtakingly beautiful.  Snow makes the world look new and fresh.  It softens edges and makes everything magical.  When the sun finally comes out, it glistens and sparkles to rival the most brilliant of diamonds and turns late-day shadows the most amazing shades of blue and violet.

I now enjoy snow mostly through a window, but I still love watching it work its magic on the world.  I still get excited when it starts to fall, filled again with a childlike wonder and a wealth of memories that bring a smile to my face.  It seems incongruous that something so cold can fill us with such warm memories – memories of a place and time when joys were simple and happiness was a day off from school and a chance to traipse about knee deep in snow screaming with joy at being alive and catching snowflakes on our tongues.

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