January 6, 2017

Simple Pleasures - Snow

From my back door, across the field, and into Kione's winter wonderland in the woods.

The joy of a Canadian winter is not your face freezing off in a minus 30 wind chill. Nor is it having the sun set at 4:00 pm. Or driving like you are on a skating rink. No, the premier joy of winter for me and many other winter enthusiasts, is snow. Puffy, powdery, every flake is unique snow.

A blanket of fresh snow is a gift from Kione, the Greek goddess of snow and winter. Around this time of year she leaves her work, cursed by some, thanked by others.

But if you have the time to enjoy snow-bound areas, natural or otherwise, you would probably agree that it is a whole lot of fun, not to mention quite magical. The possibilities and pleasures are endless: skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, skating, fat tire biking, ice climbing, glacier traverses in the back country of the Rockies, winter camping, tobogganing and sledding.

I'm not the only creature leaving tracks in the snow in these woods.

Those who like snow, like it a lot. This is the camp I fall into. The beginning of a snow storm is one of the most exciting times of the year,  and not only because of the pleasures of outdoor activities. A snow storm changes everything for everyone all at once, uniting us all in temporary survival mode.

When Kione comes, she throws an icy wrench into the functioning of the machinery of civilization, just to remind us who is boss.

Everything either slows down or stops completely after a big snowfall. Roads and highways close. You can walk down the middle of deserted city streets, quiet, muted, and muffled by the mantle of white stuff. You might be the only thing moving, besides the flakes gently falling around you.

Exciting and intense storms cause airports to shut down, and airports never shut down. It is one of the rare times that civilization lifts its foot off the gas pedal and takes a break from the maniacal pace.

It can get so crazy that people actually stay home and enjoy each other's company over cups of hot beverages. They stay home and revel in the comfort of their warm and snugly shelters separating them from the snow piling up at the door.

Then some of us go out to play.


  1. A lovely piece Gregg, poetic. I couldn't pick a favorite photo, all were taken in with a gasp of delight. I love the tracks of the unknown creature, we are not alone. I love how quiet things gets when it snows, bliss when planes cease to fly and the air is soft and quiet.

    We had a storm warming a couple of days ago with 5 to 8 inches forecasted, quite unusal for this part of the world. I was so excited anticipating a Kione blessing. We were gifted only a light dusting of snow over some ice. Still is was beautiful. Enough fell to silence civilization, loved every minute of it.

  2. Terri,

    It was sweet while it lasted. Now warm air has blown in from your part of the world, and all our snow is disappearing. I love anything that slows people down and helps them be more aware of the beauty of nature all around them.

  3. Hi Gregg,

    Thanks for this post - my area in Oregon just got 7 inches of snow and has shut down the entire area. Thankfully I walk to work so can be here since we are at a busy time of year. I have enjoyed the cold walks, with the trees draped in snow, and today the sky is blue, the sun bright, and it really is gorgeous. I need to be reminded of that since snow can really get me down sometimes (just not used to it) - and be thankful it slows me down a bit to take in the beauty.

    - Mary


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