Reflections Inspired By The First Snow …

Jan 26, 2011 by

Reflections Inspired By The First Snow …










As I sit here at my computer, finishing my coffee and looking out the window at the first snow of the season, I am reminded of other first snows of the season from my youth. If you listen very carefully, you might hear the snow crunching beneath my feet, clad in snow boots to keep them dry. If you stay very still and concentrate real hard, you might just see my breath pouring out, in the biting cold. You might just feel a chill as the wind whips around the tall buildings downtown, and perhaps you will see the lights on the electric building, adding layers of green, red and blue and successive colored lights after this… Church bells are ringing in the distance as I get closer to home. It’s only 5:30 in the evening, but in the winter it is already dark at this hour.

I trudge on in a hurried pace to get home to where it’s warm, and where I end another day’s journey out in the snow. Having no vehicle, my family members and I walked most everywhere we went, or occasionally rode the public bus. I can’t imagine this now, but it was a reality all through my youth. The winters were made harder by this, particularly when the trudging through snowtemperatures reached below zero. But life went on and we walked through the snow, accomplishing the days deeds as determined by routine and circumstance. I think I was about 19 years old when I got my first car. I looked forward to driving instead of walking in the snow. Read on and you will see why having a vehicle really didn’t make life much easier.

My first car, a 1969 Dodge Dart, full of dings and dents, died that winter, no thanks to the tow truck that tried to take it hostage because it was parked on the wrong side of street. Alternate street side parking for snow removal was supposed to be an efficient way to remove snow, and create parking spaces for street parking. The times started at 8:30 in the morning, and I think I was about 10 minutes late in moving my car. This was the blizzard of 77 in Buffalo NY; what an experience this was! I ran outside and demanded the tow truck release my vehicle, and thanks to all the powers that be, they did. The big plows were rather indiscriminate and more often than not, plowed your vehicle under mounds and mounds of snow, with their efficient snow removal and alternate street side parking. I remember digging my car out for 15 minutes in the freezing cold, only to discover it was not in fact my car! I only hoped it belonged to someone elderly or someone who really needed the assistance.

Then there was my final winter in Buffalo. My car at that time, a 79 VW rabbit, was a favorite target of the snow plows. They hit my car at least 3 times that winter, creating dents and snow packed so tight, you needed others to push to help you get out, after you spent 30 minutes digging out from under the snow the plow threw there! I came to understand the reality of, “You can’t fight City Hall”, as I tried to get compensation for the Cars buried in snowplow hitting my vehicle. Suffice it to say it never happened. I swore that this would be my last winter, and it was. My friend Theressa laughs today when she recalls how mad I was, and remembers me saying I wouldn’t be around for another winter. I held true to my word and I was not.

At age 23, I left the snow, fulfilling a promise to myself I had made when I was much younger, because you see, I never really liked or appreciated anything about the snow. I dreamed of the ocean, white sand beaches and the Beach Boys, surfing and California Dreaming; These were never far from my thoughts, especially when there was snow outside. I moved to Los Angeles California and spent 10 years, living and loving the ocean, white sand beaches, watching the surfers, and even Christmas caroling on the Venice boardwalk, with the smell of suntan lotion permeating the warm Southern California air. I remember that first California Christmas, and shopping along Melrose avenue. I remember feeling the weirdness and something missing. What could it be? I was happy and tickled to be among the natives, also shopping along Melrose at the unusual shops and unique gifts, such as I would not have found in Buffalo.

I remember too, being happy there were no issues of snow, snow removal and snow plows, not seeing my breath in the cold, no wind whipping around and stinging my face, and no cold, wet white stuff, otherwise known as snow… no sound of it crunching beneath my feet, clad in snow boots to keep my feet warm and dry, and then it dawned on me. Wait, could it be true? Was it really possible? After all I had been through, and all the years I vowed to one day keep my promise; did I really miss the snow? Could this be the weirdness and the heretofore unidentified thing I was missing?

That was many years ago, 27 to be exact. Somehow, I made my way back to snow country. Looking back on it, I remember all these feelings as if they were yesterday, just a few moments ago… and then I recall Albert Camus; ” In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.”

Only this is 27 year later, not yesterday, and today is the first snow of the season, the beginning of winter. No matter, having recalled Mr. Camus’ words, I have indeed discovered, there is in me an invincible summer.

Happy 1st Snow to all!

Photo Credit:
Snow on branches: Rachel Patterson @Flickr
Trudging through snow: Eliza Tasbihi @Flickr

Related Posts

Share This


  1. Brian Sheldon

    “THE FLOOD” water comes in different ways
    Is this happening again?
    According to the Bible, The Flood was the worldwide cataclysmic event that utterly devastated the earth sometime between 2,000 and 3,000 BC. According to Genesis, earth’s humanity had degenerated into such a “cesspit” that God, in His sovereignty, decided to purge the earth.
    As we have said this year, 2011, is an organizational period and you must look at your current and past performance in a very hard light. A tidying up of affairs is now in order, as you must make ready for a very hectic year ahead. The search for order, stability, fairness, and equilibrium. Sometimes there is a strong yearning for logic and symmetry. The desire for reliability in relationships and accomplishments.
    You may not believe and accept the Old Testament Bible stories, yet there is a lot of scientific proof that there was a great flood wiping out most of the world on Earth. There must have been a great deal of suffering at that time, as there is today with the flooding occurring here.
    So can we find something positive with what is happening? What do we do when our body feels dirty, or our possessions, we wash it all in water!
    Reflect on how our water on earth has been polluted, as has our atmosphere, the land AND OUR MINDS.
    Isn’t it time that we raised the level of consciousness on earth, start working and playing together instead of thinking only of self. If we refer again to the bible, every human to have lived since the Flood must be a direct descendent of Noah’s small remnant. WE ARE ALL ONE!
    Let us clean up our mess, connect with the ONE GOD.

  2. I was just out on our back deck crunching the snow under foot while having an after dinner cup of coffee – and dreaming of the time when I can plant our garden – the winter is a time to rest and reflect I have found as I get older – thanks for a great post

  3. Gale Madyun via Facebook

    ohhhh, i’ve skimmed soon i’ll plunge… i’m loving the wall through the first snow…