Be Merry and Bright

I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…
People think I am crazy, but ever since I moved up to the northeast I have been praying for a good 1-2 feet of snow. Snow storms are the best, gentle fury, each snow flake is delicate as it floats down to Earth. The infrequency of storms can make when they happen even more magical, get enough snow and it can create a whole new world covered in white. One of my favorite things is after a big snow storm to go outside and just stand there. No one is on the roads, the lights seem to soften, and the world goes quiet. The snow absorbs sound and creates this magical environment where you feel like you are the only one in the world. Then the snow plows come, scraping against the ground as they clear the roadways for the next round of traffic, but for a moment its like the pause button is hit and the world slows down. No matter where I have lived, Missouri, Texas, or DC, it is always the same.
Texas, as many of you know, doesn’t get snow that often. So when they do the city basically shuts down. In the four years that I was going to school in Austin we got snow three times. The first two happened my freshman year. Coming from St. Louis I was pretty used to snow, but in Texas even the smallest amount is an event. My freshman year we had two “snowfalls” the first of which was only enough to cover the mulch around the trees and yet people would run out of their classes standing outside taking pictures of the snow as if they had never seen it before. The second one only stuck to the tops of the cars, but it was enough for a quick snowball fight.
The third time it snowed was a year later and we got roughly two inches. We had warning this time though, so all of the roads were covered with sand just incase. I remember waking up at five o’clock and going out to my balcony to bask in the silence of the city that was usually bustling at all hours. Then we found out SNOW DAY!!! My first and only one in college or graduate school. Of course it was gone by 10 am and, at the time I was living off campus, so I missed the sledding down the hills on cafeteria trays.
Growing up in St. Louis we got snow every year, but it came later and later in the year. So we had to take advantage when it came, taking time to go sledding and building snowmen. Winter is a time to revert to childhood wonderment, a time to be filled with the spirit of the season. There is magic this time of year that sparks that flame of hope inside us and reminds us of the good in humanity. Hope for a better, kinder, more accepting future.
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

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