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