Posted in Life, photography

When winter delivers a wonderland

I have a difficult time understanding it. Why some people hate snow, that is.

I hear folks complain in person or on social media about snowfalls; they grumble and gripe and they rush to the nearest store for bread, milk, and toilet paper (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?).

I understand that behavior if a blizzard of mammoth proportions is heading your way and you need to be prepared. Of course now, adding a threat of snow during this pandemic continuation, people rush to their phones, tablets, and laptops to order those items online.

But I wonder why people dislike snowy weather so much. Especially here in my neck of the woods – Penn’s Woods that is – otherwise known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  

My snarky side (and believe me, I do have one!) wants to remind them that for heaven’s sake, people, we live in this place located in the Northern Hemisphere of the earth, at roughly 40° latitude and 79° longitude where winter is distinctly one of the four seasons and descends upon us as surely as night falls on daylight due to the sun setting.

Winter in this clime equals cold temperatures and often snowfalls.  Don’t like it? Move south. Hate snow? Find a different location and climate to live in. It’s not like snow flurries and frigid temperatures are an unusual occurrence in winter here.

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”  ~ John Burroughs

Winter can be invigorating particularly when the outside temperature is brisk and crystalline flakes fall gently to the ground. When everything is covered in fluffy snow looking like marshmallows exploded, creating a beautiful scene, I wonder what’s not to like about a winter wonderland?

Writing those two words – winter wonderland – dials up my brain’s music box which immediately brings songs to mind with just a word or two. And although, Winter Wonderland is usually considered a Christmas song, I like to sing it to myself all winter long when snow drifts down from the sky. 

That song was written way back in 1934 with music by Felix Bernard and the lyrics by Richard Smith. When Guy Lombardo released his rendition, it became one of the biggest hits of the year.

One version of the song, which I don’t hear very often, starts out with this lovely description of a winter wonderland:

Over the ground lies a mantle of white,
A heaven of diamonds shine down through the night;
Two hearts are thrilling, in spite of the chill in the weather.

Love knows no season, love knows no clime,
Romance can blossom any old time
Here in the open, we’re walking and hoping together.

Doesn’t that sound like a great song to sing, not just at Christmas, but all winter long, especially during the month of February when Valentine’s Day rolls around?

Any time a blanket of snow, shimmering like diamonds and decorating the trees with cottony fluff, envelops my world, it compels me to break into the rest of that song:

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
In the lane, snow is glistening,
A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland!

Over the years, Papa and I enjoyed walks in a winter wonderland, especially when we lived in parts of the country where snow was a rarity to some degree. And those walks always make my heart happy and my outlook in life positive. So, I do question why someone could hold such animosity over a snowfall.

Maybe snow-haters just don’t like the fact that snow makes one slow down and might even cause you to stay home. In this rat-race world where everyone wants instant gratification and is on the go constantly, we’ve forgotten how to slow our pace down. Take time to just pause, sit and watch the snow falling. Snow can force you to do that and perhaps that makes some folks bristle at the weather.

Of course, there are also people who are fearful of driving in snowy conditions. Safe driving in snow can be accomplished but again, it forces one to slow down, take time, allow extra minutes for the drive. You can’t drive like a bat out of you know where when it snows. Perhaps when snow falls, it causes some to be even more impatient than usual.

Or maybe folks are so cranky about snowfalls right now because we’re still suppressed by virus pandemic restrictions and mandates and they are just plain weary of being relegated to staying home, not getting out, etc. Of course, snowy weather can cause us to feel constrained as well.

But here’s food for thought. When Richard Smith, a fellow native Pennsylvanian, wrote the charming lyrics to Winter Wonderland, he was receiving treatment for tuberculosis in a Scranton, Pennsylvania sanitarium.

Inspiration for the song lyrics occurred while he was ill and isolated in a Honesdale (his hometown) hospital. When he peered outside his hospital window, he observed the town’s park covered in glistening snow – a winter wonderland. And inspiration soared.

Maybe we should take a hint from his experience.

He was quarantined, isolated, ill with a nasty bacterial sickness that also was a pandemic. He wasn’t free to travel, let alone go outside and still, he used his time to appreciate the snowy scene outside of his window and pass on his inspiration to countless people with the lyrics to a song that became a well-known classic.

“Close your eyes. Hear the silent snow. Listen to your soul speak.” ~ Adrienne Posey

Maybe it’s all about our attitude when it comes to the conditions of life we must face and endure – even wintry weather. Maybe we need snow to cause us to stop and listen to our hearts and souls, to make an attitude adjustment and partake of the magnificent beauty of God’s wondrous creation – snowfall.

For me, pandemic isolation or not, I will always enjoy walking (and witnessing) a winter wonderland. The serenity of a snowy walk proves calming, soothing, but invigorating all at the same time and I am so thankful that I’m able to do so and thankful for the God of the universe who gave us His creation.

“There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special.” ~ Carol Rifka Brunt in Tell the Wolves I’m Home

©mamasemptynest.wordpress.com 2021

Author:

Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view the gorgeous sunsets off my own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

10 thoughts on “When winter delivers a wonderland

  1. I want to read this and be all light and fluffy in the spirit of your post but we are under 24 inches of snow for the second time in less than 2 months, I can’t get my van out of my garage to do simple tasks, and the wind is blowing on our hill so even going outside to let the dog out means a face full of snow. I don’t hate snow but I’ve been snowed and iced in for over a month now so…I’m not really embracing it despite my choice to live here which was made because we aren’t rich enough to move somewhere where it doesn’t snow. (haha! 😉 ) However, even if we were rich enough, I don’t handle the heat and humidty well at all (like you said above) so I’d still complain. *wink* Now, truthfully, I do think it is beautiful and I don’t mind life slowing down — except mine has never sped up and I can’t get my isolated children out of the house right now, which makes all the rest of the depressing events of the world even more depressing. Ah man….I am really stinking at this being positive thing.

    most of my response is a joke but I’m on my computer and don’t have the emojiis to use!

    . I mean, 24 inches twice in two months has stunk, but I really do enjoy how pretty the snow is and I loved your photos!

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    1. I get where you’re coming from — we haven’t had over a foot at one time yet this winter so I don’t have cabin fever like you guys must have. But the snow is still so beautiful,,,,of course, I can say that because we’re retired so we can just sit, relax, and enjoy the scenery. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – retirement would help. My husband still has to go to work and with that much snow we couldn’t get our drive all the way clean and our street has been a mess so last night he had to borrow my dad’s truck to even get up our drive to get home. The snow drifted (yeah! Light fluffy snow and wind! 🙄) so cleaning out the drive was awful and today I am out of groceries but if I leave the house and back the van out it’s not coming back up the drive (still drifting snow!) so … yeah … I think snow is pretty too (the sun was sparkling off it this morning and it was soooo pretty!!) but a little less would help our situation. Lol. I still don’t complain when I know we are getting it, though, because we do love our part of the state and how pretty it is and we know that this is just part of living here 😄! A little rant here and there helps us get through. 😉

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  2. I love the snow – especially when I can sit with a nice cup of tea and look at it from a nice warm chair. The other good thing about snow is that I don’t have to mow the lawn when it’s covered with snow. The only thing I don’t like about snow is having to shovel out the driveway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See, there IS a bright side to snow — no lawn mowing, no weeding…my hubby enjoys that also. And when it comes to shoveling the driveway, ours is too long and uphill for that, so he plows it with our trusty John Deere lawn and garden tractor.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. During the last snow here, we discovered that our neighbor has a bobcat and he loves to take it out to clear the snow off the road. He also clears the driveways on our court – including mine. Now that looked like fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to laugh. If you substitute heat and humidity for your beautiful snowfalls, you’d have the Gulf Coast equivalent to your grumpy, snow-hating citizens. I suppose every season has its benefits and disadvantages; by the time August and September roll around, we’re all heartily sick of the weather, and ready for something cooler. Moving north isn’t an option, except for the wealthy people who maintain a second home in a place like Colorado or Michigan and head there in the summer. So, we cope, and part of coping is griping. It’s a kind of bonding. The old saying that misery loves company is true, but sometimes having some company around makes the misery easier to bear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand because I would be one of those people griping about the heat and humidity! We get a taste of it (but nothing like yours) in the summer and I have to confess I’m one of the biggest complainers about it. Heat coupled with humidity just makes me wilt and become cranky and lethargic. Maybe that’s why I love snowy weather so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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