Sunday Gratitude – First Snow
You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect snow than Friday’s. Arriving as it did in the middle of the night, the Owl went to sleep in autumn, and woke up in winter, a gorgeous blanket over the brown scruffy grass and leaves. And it just kept coming down. Next door I could hear the elementary-school-aged kids already up and outside laughing and playing in the half-foot of snow, full of snow day excitement. My teenagers were not quite as joy-filled–one awake with a book, and one fast asleep with no interest anymore in the snow. Or getting up early.
It wasn’t long until the Owl decided it was time to walk down the street to the conservation woods — I would challenge just about anyone in Weston to say that they live outside of walking distance to a trail head. This trail is in Lincoln (my backyard is Lincoln) and one of my biggest joys is being first in the woods. I wasn’t first on Friday–someone had taken a smaller loop, but I was first to the pond, and the far-side trail. Glorious dark trees iced in white, Katie Puppy leaping like a fox through the snow pouncing on imagined chipmunks. The only sounds the crunch crunch of my boots, the jingle of the dog’s collar. Snow silence.
Later I met a neighbor for a cross-country ski in the late afternoon pink. It was a sticky snow and I crashed twice avoiding snow-laden hemlock branches. We met two other skiers and a snowshoer, then two more skiers…as the woods grew darker it was just us two. As we popped out at the end of our street, a sliver of moon high above backlighted our walk through the gloaming back up the street. Precious moments.
We finally got the Owlets into the snow on Saturday morning–the complaints in the car giving way as the joy of snow makes us all kids in the end. We were first into Nolte’s trails, the Owlets breaking a path, kicking snow, then ultimately wrestling each other to the fluff. Snow is irresistible. We drove past the Town Green–smiling at the little kids running up and down the short slope, jumping onto inflatable rafts, plastic sleds, each other. Our sleds found their way to the Swap Shed this year–I hope they’re back on the hillside now.
Yesterday afternoon, it was impossible to say no to one more ski–this time with another neighbor at College Pond and Jericho. While the trail etiquette had gone asunder, it was more that skiable. The snow yesterday was perfect–the cold air made it less sticky than Friday’s. We shushed, we talked, we laughed and ran into a fair number of other outdoors enthusiasts. Get outside, Weston…you have about two more hours until the rain comes.
My Sunday gratitude: first snow. The magic snow.