It has been a while since I took a walk in the snow by myself. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the quiet of a winter storm. Rain storms have their own beauty, but they are showy with their thunder and lightning. A winter storm silently creeps in and slowly drops layer by layer of several inches of pure white magnificence.
Bundled in my coat, hat and gloves, I open the door and feel the cold air rush against my face and down my lungs. The chill wraps itself around my legs and begins to creep into my toes and fingertips. I don’t mind. My senses are aroused and I am reminded that I far enjoy the cold as opposed to hot humid temperatures.
The snow is deep enough to cover the tops of my hiking boots and I thrill to lose the sight of my feet in the soft, fluffy ice crystals. As the snowflakes tickle my face, I trudge up to the top of a hill on my street and begin the long trek down the other side to an another neighborhood. Here I encounter two manmade ponds. I can see the trace of a shoveled area where the neighborhood kids have been ice skating. It looks like they will have some work to do in order to recover their rink.
The quiet envelopes me and I lose myself in the stillness while I reflect on a myriad of thoughts. I am startled back to my surroundings by the chirps of a chickadee. Listening, I hear the branches of trees as they rub against each other in a slight wind. I gaze across a field and as usual I am in awe of the expanse of pristine white contrasting against the low grey clouds. I observe the park benches as they sit staring into the icy pond, waiting, I suppose, for spring to return. But, I will bid my time, enjoying this season and my winter walk. Once again I succumb to the calm of the silent snow and let my thoughts wander. I think of a warm bowl of soup waiting for me upon my return home. I decide this is the perfect day to build a fire and to enjoy it’s warmth as I revel in the freedom of my snow day.
Turning the corner to complete my lap around the pond I lift my head and smile with gratitude at one of my most favorite sights. The splendor of pine trees covered in snow. I always think the trees look stunning in their long gowns of wedding white.
The squirrels have been out and about leaving behind tiny footprints. I also discover the traces of a fellow traveler. Their boot marks almost lost in the snow that has fallen since their walk. I wonder if the person who traveled this road before me enjoyed the sights as much as I.
The tranquility of the morning is broken by the sound of a snowplow. I see the huge orange truck maneuvering growing banks of snow around a corner. I cross the road to get out of his way; snowplows in upstate New York are massive. There is no one else out and I contemplate what the truck driver must think of me. Does he think I’m crazy or does he understand the delight of walking through a snowstorm?