It’s May 16th in southern Michigan. The weather right now is gloriously spring: blossoms on every tree (or so it seems) and the soil is practically pulsing with an eagerness to get things rolling.
For many, this is the best time of year. So much newness is on the horizon. I get it. So why is winter my favorite season? The answer is simple. I love snow.
Over the past several years, my husband and I have spent a few weeks each winter in northern Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. The Keweenaw Peninsula juts out into Lake Superior and, when the conditions are right, accumulates copious amounts of lake effect snow. Lake effect snow is created when cold air streams across a warmer lake causing air to rise, fill with moisture, and if we’re lucky . . . creating mounds of fluffy snowfall.
When I was young, before we all felt the effects of a warming climate, we still had a lot of snow in southern Michigan. My most vivid memories of snow back then, living in the countryside, was that you could see outside at night with no lights on. You could even drive your car at night with no lights on. I remember snow’s brightness, it’s luminosity.
I’m so lucky to have been introduced to cross-country skiing in my early 20’s. My favorite time to ski is when the sun sets because then you get pink and yellow colors on the snow. And as long as it isn’t storming, you don’t have to worry if you stay out past dusk because you’ll still be able to see well enough, especially if the moon is out.
Aesthetically, I love snow the most when there is a thick, rounded blanket that covers and sticks to everything – traffic lights, signs, window ledges, branches and boughs. I love deep snow, windblown snow, sculpted snow. Snow is beautiful. I don’t believe that being in the woods in the snow, whether on skis or snowshoes, will ever lose it’s magic for me.
But I also love the edginess of snow. The life or death quality about it. Though I’m lucky that I have my husband to share winter’s passion with me (that’s him in the print above) being in snow country alone makes me feel the most intensely alive. I tell myself not to get lost, not to fall down; consequences could be dire. I become very awake and extremely aware of smells and sounds, my body and it’s capabilities and limits.
I’m not even in the mountains but still know that snow pushes back at you in a way that a flower can’t, and never will.
It’s springtime and the snow is, at this moment, a story to write about.
I don’t wish spring or summer or fall to go by too quickly, I do love all seasons.
I just love snow best.
PS You can even make angles in it!
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