I was sitting in a motel room in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, watching the snow fall outside the window. While it was pretty – no wind to speak of and the flakes were the size of quarters – I wondered where my joy went. I used to love snow. I used to hope for snow; not just flurries, but the big blizzards that would bury everything.
“You like snow now,” my parents used to say when I was a kid. “But wait until you have to drive in it.” Well, when I was 16 and just got my license, I loved driving in the snow. My friend and I would find icy parking lots that hadn’t been shoveled yet and get into deliberate skids. It was like a roller coaster thrill.
I don’t think it was when it was my turn to shovel it. I can’t say I enjoy shoveling snow, so when I became a homeowner I bought myself a snowblower. I can cut through six or ten inches of powder in half an hour.
My wife and I took the Aerial Tramway up in Palm Springs. At the base of the mountain it was close to 90 degrees. At the top, 8,500 feet up, it was below freezing and the snow was piled up around the building and wrapped around the pine trees. I watched kids having snow fights. I enjoyed watching a young woman from Los Angeles stick her open toed sandle into a nearby drift and scream, “Oh my God, it’s cold!” However, my own internal joy was rather limited.
I think snow must have a cumulative effect on me, much like it has outside in nature. Snow has been piling up on me since I was a baby born between blizzards. The first few inches, like that first snow of the season, is something to watch. Something to treasure. However, the luster falls away as the inches continue to drop from the sky, piling up along the edges of the street, turning gray from use. I think snow has just drifted up around my soul and I’ve had about enough of it. It’s time for spring.