This I Believe

Dena - Whitefish, Montana
Entered on October 25, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: environment

I believe in the joy of a Snow Day

I associate snow with all things joyful, most notably, the holiday season, school closings, and skiing. When I was little, snow days were about the most joyful occasions that I experienced. The snow would start falling before I went to bed and I could barely sleep from the anticipation of a possible snow day. Waking to the announcement of a school cancellation meant the fun could begin. My sisters and I would excitedly suit up in layer upon layer and head out to join our friends for snowball fights, fort building, and cross-country skiing. I couldn’t even fathom that Christmas could occur without snow.

When I grew up, I moved to the mountains where I could be guaranteed a fair amount of snow days. To my delight, the first flakes of snow would appear in late October and could last until June. The first snowfall of the season makes everyone in a ski town joyful. Everything looks clean and white and the mountains seem much more majestic when topped with snow. The snow starts to accumulate in the mountains by early November if I’m lucky and I begin an early-season ritual of hiking to the top of the local ski hill with a enthusiastic group of other snow fiends to take advantage of the white stuff before the lifts open and we have to share it. Everyone is joyful, even the dogs. They romp and roll in the snow, taking snow baths and gleefully sliding down the hill just like the humans.

Snow days give snow lovers like me a sense of purpose. I follow the weather forecasts and track snowfall amounts like a trader follows the stock market. A forecast of snow and I’m just like a kid again, unable to sleep in the anticipation of the snow day ahead. I even get up in the middle of the night to view the progress of the snowfall, using the pile on my car as a gauge. Upon waking I dial the number to the resort’s snow phone, which I have memorized, to find out how much fresh snow to expect. Then, just like when I was a kid, I get dressed up in layer upon layer of warm clothing and join my friends to celebrate the snow day.

I play hard on those big snow days, racing other skiers to be the first in line for fresh tracks. The joyful sounds of whooping and hollering echo all over the mountain and I join in. I play until my legs turn to mush and my face hurts from smiling. Cold and wet isn’t an issue, I’m too enraptured by the snow.

That night I crawl into my bed, which always seems much cozier after a snow day, happily exhausted. I fall asleep with a smile on my face reliving the day and dreaming about more snow days to come.