It’s Snowing!

Picture courtesy of Jon Steward, Vernonia, OR

Well it probably isn’t snowing anymore – but as I write this it is snowing.

Snow and Portland, Oregon are not synonymous, however last year I ended up snowed in for three weeks.

That wasn’t my kind of snow. That was the kind of snow that never goes away. It stays and starts to look shabby, like it’s past its expiration date. This – what we have today – is my kind of snow. It dusts everything with white and makes the world quiet. Then it leaves as quickly as it came.


An ephemeral state, a simple moment, which from my youth on, has meant a pause. A pause in the action reminding us we have no control over our environment.

A pause in our plans.  

When I was young snow meant “snow days”. Those wonderful unexpected holidays used to celebrate the snow. The school would shut down and sometimes the town. They didn’t  happen often enough for our city to invest in the equipment required to keep its streets clear.

So when it snows – Portland shuts down.

But all I used to care about was that school was closed and we could go worship in the cold. The sense of wonder as you watched the snowflakes fall. The joy of being the first person to walk across the yard leaving foot prints in your wake. The first snow angel made, snowball thrown, and snowman build.

Hot chocolate with marshmallows to warm you and tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. And that feeling of freedom that courses through you when you realize that all the plans for the day are shot and you are left to your own devices.

Nowhere to be and nothing to do…

That must be why it is so hard not to go make a cup of tea and curl up with a good book. From the moment it started snowing I haven’t been able to stop smiling, stop looking out the windows, checking to see if it is sticking to the sidewalks.  And I can’t seem to focus on anything else to save me life.

Maybe if I go and obsessively watch Doctor Who Christmas episodes I can find my muse again.

Or maybe I’ll just give in and stare at the snow.

I’m smitten – feeling ten again – in love with the freedom of a snow day.

 ~ Tess Anderson


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