The fall of the year’s first snow makes me giddy.   It is the giddy I felt as a child when we received the treat of a light dusting no more than a few times each winter.  Now I have 30 toes who are giddy too, and they pull me outside at 8:00 am on Sunday like they are greeting Christmas morning. 

I grew up in a river valley in the Pacific Northwest.  Each winter the mountains surrounding us would become white with snow and we would often comment on the icy chill in the air that accompanied it.  It was a treat, however, when the snow fell over us; a few inches of magic each year.  Now I live in a place where snowy winters are common, and snow is the one part of this harsh season that I have not yet grow weary of. 

I relish this magic that taps my youthful excitement, magic that wells up and makes me feel pure…pure excitement, pure stillness, pure hope.  This morning my purity is met by purity; 30 toes piling onto my bed, giddy over snow, magic on top of magic and my heart swells with the embodiment of what I once was and the beauty of being in the midst of it again.

I cannot resist!  PJ's still on, we don rain boots (as the snow boots are not yet unpacked, this is after all a very early snow) and flee into the wonderland.  A wonderland with grass still peeking through, bits of fluffy magic floating through the air, with giggles and excitement in pursuit.  There is running and rolling and the discovery of a partially snow covered sand box, what a novelty!  And then tears follow, hands are cold after mittens are pulled off and snow angels are made by a boy who throws himself down in a fit of frustration over a sandy, snowy bulldozer that MUST be brought into the house.  It is time to retreat, time to return inside and warm, time for me to think quickly, of a reason that will convince them to follow suit; promising hot chocolate (not our usual breakfast drink) and conceding to the bringing of the bulldozer does the trick.  This morning I want the magic to linger, concessions are okay.

Once our coats, hats and boots are off and inevitably strewn about the floor we proceed to the bulldozer wash (aka the shower).  Snow melts and sand washes away under a stream of water and all excitement is fresh again.  We turn it and roll it over to make sure all sides are clean and rinsed and the previously frustrated boy is now content to let it sit and drip and join the breakfast table.

The magic does linger, and the snow continues to fall outside, it blankets the ground around our walls and the roof above us.  Real life rolls on within these protective walls, voices increase, cereal hits the floor, crayons are scattered.  But I feel a renewed glimmer, I feel giddy. 

With gratitude,


  1. I love this! You've captured the purity of the season but also the purity and innocence and wonder of childhood... one that you are fostering for your wonderful brood of "30 toes" and for yourself! My favorite line: "y heart swells with the embodiment of what I once was and the beauty of being in the midst of it again." Perfect.


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