“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.”
― Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
The clock is dispassionately announcing the time in familiar blue digits; 5:00 am. Remarkably, the dogs are still snoozing; Miguel is snoring in his bed tucked up under the bedside table, Riley is sandwiched between the two of us generating heat like a tiny pot-bellied stove in the midst of the sheets. I strain to hear the sound of ice or freezing rain pelting the metal roof. All I hear is the December stillness. I am disappointed.
I can’t stay in bed another minute — I need to see for myself what that weather is doing outside. I peer into the darkness, unable to discern if its doing anything more than gently snowing. I throw on my coat and we venture out, Riley and I — our two sets of foot prints outlined in the new fallen snow. It is mixed precipitation, and my heart skips. Could it be…a snow day?
Interestingly enough, whether our district calls a snow day or not has absolutely nothing to do with me. Because of my current health challenge, every day right now easily qualifies. But, there is something magical about the notion of Mother Nature delivering the gift of a snow day — a day dedicated to doing absolutely nothing, going absolutely nowhere… a day devoted to sitting by the fire and snoozing a bit or, if you’re feeling adventurous, heading out with the toboggan or building a homespun snowman.
I love snowdays.
I love the idea that nearly everyone I know — my students, my colleagues, many of their parents — are collectively holding their breath and doing the exact same thing I’m currently doing. They are peering out of windows, turning on their radios, anticipating… I crave that feeling of community, maybe now more than ever.
Back inside, I grab my coffee, turn on the radio, and wait for the notices to appear…school by school. When it appears that everything is “business as usual,” I grumble. I can just imagine all the “dream balloons” popping across our region…as students are pulling back the comfort of their warm covers, and dragging themselves to the shower or breakfast table, before slogging down the driveway where they will wait with damp socks and the smoldering dread that exponentially grows as the bus draws near.
But, luck would have it that within an hour or so, schools start calling-in with early dismissal notices. Hurray! The snow day has been saved!
Shortly, I see postings from friends detailing their plans for the day. Some families are indulging in the luxury of pancakes, others are planning on bonus cuddle-time under blankets with Christmas movies on the TV — wrapping and cookie baking are on the agenda for still others. They have asked, and graciously been granted, permission to just “be.” Finally satisfied, I can now relax and stretch out near the fire — snow day delivered.
Thank you, Mother Nature.
Now, could you stop long enough tomorrow for my son to drive safely home for the holidays on those same icy, wintry roads?