March 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
I love snow days. They are a rare thing now that I am an adult; something I thought I might never see again. This winter has been rare, not just because I left my life in California to crash with my parent’s for “a few weeks”, but also because the weather has been so mild. The lack of snow when I first arrived in Michigan was disappointing. However, the winter hasn’t been completely empty handed; in fact, today was one of those glorious snow days!
Days like today make me feel relaxed. The continuous falling of flakes makes me feel like I am in the middle of a magical snow globe. I get up early, pulling the curtain back on my bedroom window to survey the night’s accumulation. I drink an extra cup of coffee to stay warm (the forecast causing me to feel colder than usual), tackle a few projects, and take a nap. I change out of my pajamas and into sweatpants. I brush my teeth and wash my face, but don’t bother looking into the mirror.
My small dog nearly drowned in the deep snow this evening. He used all of his strength to plow his way to the edge of the driveway, his little legs working overtime as the snow stood as high as his body. I steered him into the path of boot prints until we reached the tall snow bank. He hesitantly climbed to the top to do his business, and then we ran full speed back to the house – hoping to propel ourselves through the mound.
School cancellation was normal when I was a kid. Snow days meant getting up early and getting ready slowly, hoping for a last minute cancellation. The weather outside seemed bitter and dreary until that moment when we learned we were staying home. On again came the pajamas before we curled up on the couch, catching a glimpse of our mother’s morning routine before dozing off to sleep. The snow outside went from dreary to dreamy, and total relaxation consumed me and my sisters.
In the past few months I have only had the pleasure of taking three “snow days.” No longer dreading a long day of school, and currently unemployed, the snow is not as nearly liberating, but it has not lost its relaxing quality. Today as I half-heartedly tackled my taxes and then worked on my embroidery I tried to imagine an American society where relaxation wasn’t only a one-week-a-year event. While slowly pulling my colored thread through a white pillowcase I entertained the idea of a community that took time to sit back and enjoy a meal, never felt pressure to “do more,” and could enjoy a snow day every once in a while.
Tomorrow the snow will be plowed, shoveled, swept, and brushed off to the side and into a bank. People will get up early and not stop until they tuck themselves in at night. Soon spring will be here, and with it a new season of productivity. But tonight, the snow is still falling lightly outside, everything is covered white, and I am relaxed.