Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Warm Snow

The first snow hasn't yet arrived,
but feeling the cold air hit my face this morning
has made me think about
the snowfalls of my childhood.

Of course, we all know the best thing
about any significant snowfall
is the closing of school.

Today it would be an opportunity
to sleep-in under the warm blankets
or watch a good movie
or stir up a batch of stew.

But, as a child,
I popped out of bed like a
ready to take on the snowy world
till it got the best of me.

Kids nowadays have
thermal underwear,
down jackets,
Gore-Tex gloves
and insulated snow boots.

We barely had a coat.
And we certainly never buttoned it-
until it was time to play in the snow.

It may sound strange,
but our gloves were simply old socks.
Rolled on our hands like thumb-less mittens-
these thin cotton tubes were the only thing
between us and frostbite.

What could be worse?
Well, our feet suffered, too.
Our boots were simply our school shoes
covered with bread wrappers
and bound with a rubber band.

We rarely owned a hat-
never had a scarf
and envied the kids with ear muffs.

But that didn't stop us from
having fun!
We built lop-sided snowmen
and snow forts
and paths that led to secret places.
We ate icicles
and snow ice cream
and imaginary frosting.
We played tag,
threw snowballs
and made some amazing angels.

We had dreams.
No limits.

Our fingers grew numb,
our toes tingled
and our faces were almost blue.
But it didn't matter.

Not for awhile.

There was still too much fun
left to capture.
We had to take it!

It would be over soon enough.

The snow would melt.
The fort would dissolve.
The snow people would
disappear into a muddy puddle.
School would open again.

Our sock mittens would
recycle back onto our feet.
The bread wrapper boots
would be disassembled.
The lost coat buttons
would never be missed.

But, the day
would always be remembered.

Even now,
as I stir a pot of soup
and stare out the window,
I can see all of us-
faces red,
but spirits high-
as we blaze a snow trail
from the front porch...
to a wonderful place of dreams.