I remember cold blizzard nights spent with pajamas worn inside out and spoons carefully placed under my pillow. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve clearly never had a snow day. This was more than just a superstition. It was a way of life. And it worked every time. If for some wild reason I woke up in the morning to discover that school was still open, the reason was clear: it wasn’t the ritual at fault, some dumb kid obviously forgot to put a spoon under his pillow.
Snow days used to be the best part of winter. I loved waking up at dawn and watching the snowflakes fall, each building onto the tidal wave of white pushing up against the outer-walls of my house. My mom would bundle me in layers of clothing, yank the sliding door open and set me free to spend the day exploring the new world that used to be my backyard. I used to build forts, pack snowballs, and dig sled routes for hours. When my toes began to go numb, I would retire to the fireplace to let my body thaw, a cup of hot chocolate waiting for me. Life was easy, and snow was my friend. I wish I could say the same today.
Flash forward ten years: I’ve moved to Michigan, where snow looks more like swamps of grey slush, and the wind hurls hail into my face as I walk to class. Upon hearing my morning alarm, I don’t rush to the window in hopes that an overnight storm has painted my yard white. Rather, I moan at the sight of frozen mush on the sidewalks and streets. This may sound like a testament to my changed character. It may sound like I’m just no longer the vivacious kid I used to be. Yet, I still recognize snow for its beauty- just not when I’m hopscotching around piles of slush and patches of black ice. One day I’ll fully rekindle my relationship with snow. After all, it’s nearly impossible to resist a good snowball fight. But for now, you won’t be finding any spoons under my pillow.