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The Wonder of Snow

As I sit looking out my home office window I see a beautiful sight. Snowflakes are falling, creating a wonderland of white. About 5 or 6 inches have accumulated over about three days of intermittent snowfall. In a symbolic way, I can imagine this lovely marvel of nature compensating for the grassless and leafless landscape that exists this time of the year.
Now I realize that snow often creates problems. It hampers travel in several ways. Often airports are closed; automobile travel is slowed to some extent due to hazardous road conditions; and getting around is just a great deal more difficult. From that viewpoint snow is not necessarily a good thing.
But oh the beauty of the earth covered with snow! It blankets the ground with pure white for a time and produces in me a feeling of awe both in the complexity of snow itself and its creator. I’ve often heard that no two snowflakes are exactly alike. If that is true just think of the diversity that is inherent in each one of them. Isn’t that also what is said of human DNA?
Webster’s unabridged dictionary defines snow as “small tabular columnar white transparent often branched crystals of frozen water that are formed directly from the water vapor of the air at a temperature of less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and belong to the hexagonal system of crystallization.” That definition sure doesn’t enhance any idealistic views we may have of snow.
Kids love snow. They enjoy sledding, making snow angels and snowball fights. My own memory goes back to when I was a youngster making snow ice cream. I don’t remember the recipe but I believe you just find some clean snow, add vanilla flavoring and sugar and eat away. I guess other flavors could be added as well.
Seeing this snow reminds me of two poems concerning snow written by American authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and John Greenleaf Whittier. Emerson wrote “The Snow Storm” and Whittier wrote a lengthy poem titled “Snow Bound.” If you are pressed for time, I recommend “The Snow Storm.” But if you have a little time on your hands Whittier’s “Snow Bound” will let you experience in your imagination being snowed in on a New England farm when just feeding the animals took endurance and perseverance.
Anyway, how snow is viewed depends very much on our reaction to it. While I enjoy the beauty and serenity of our current snow, I would certainly welcome some warmer temperatures. And for folks who have to travel the snowy and icy roads, I sympathize with them and hope they keep safe.
I wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.