Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Colors in the Snow

The news keeps talking about the Polar Vortex (when I was a kid, we simply called it "a gloriously snowy winter" and rejoiced, as only kids can) and the Weather Channel keeps naming storms (because why should hurricanes get all the media drama fun?) as I watch the snow pile up in drifts from afar. Something about it all makes me reminiscent. I don't know if it's the Christmas card images or the fact that winter just lends itself to cozying up with a warm blanket and some memories of yesteryear, but the reminiscing wraps itself around me like the warmth of a roaring fireplace.

I haven't seen it in person in more than a decade, but I remember it well. Right down to the way it feels to breathe in the sharp air and feel it catch in your chest. But more than the way it feels, there is something that happens when the snow falls. It blots out the faded colors of a hibernating earth, softens all the harsh edges. Against that backdrop of purest white, colors seem to have an extra vibrancy. Reds pop with cheer. The green pine boughs seem more lush. Winter coats and hats and gloves are a rainbow riot. The sky is a shade of blue that rivals any turquoise in a box of Crayola crayons. Even the snow itself would become a dazzle of color as the sun bounced rays of light off the snowbanks. It's as if the whole world would wake up for from drowsy slumber to sing with joy.

What I remember most of all, though, are the multi-colored Christmas lights. They would cast their cheerful light in colorful little pools on the snow beneath them. Or, after a heavy snowfall, glow warmly from within their snowy cocoon. Gram used to have this Christmas wrapping paper. It was a snowy twilight scene with horse drawn sleighs making their way among snow laden evergreens and garlanded homes with light spilling warm from the windows. But what commanded my attention was the way the Christmas lights on the trees and lining the eaves of the houses shone softly in this snow-covered world. I loved that wrapping paper, thrilled when it would appear on a package bearing a tag with my name. I wish I had a square of it now, to frame for my wall, a ticket to a beautiful world of both winter delight and precious reverie.

In reality, the snow gets tired and grey. Tempers get short as people grow restless and weary. There are an abundance of adulthood grievances weighing down each falling snowflake. And yes, people move away and wax poetic, romanticizing frozen precipitation in their travels down Memory Lane. But the colors in the snow remain beautiful, up close or from hundreds of miles or months removed.

1 with their own thoughts:

Kel Tuesday, January 21, 2014 6:59:00 PM  

Glad I read this as we are getting this snowy weather here! Great reading!

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