“The world is your snowball, see how it grows. That’s how it goes whenever it snows.”
I don’t think “A Marshmallow World” is the most popular Christmas/winter song out there, but I like its philosophy. If the world is my snowball, the sky is the limit. There’s a world full of thoughts to think and sights to see. I took a walk in the snow yesterday and started thinking about the snow of my nostalgia versus the snow of the present.
There are several types of people I know when it comes to snow: 1. Never seen it. 2. Never left it. 3. Grew up without it and moved to it. 4. Grew up with it and escaped it.
I’m number 3. I saw snow a few times in my youth, but I lived in Florida and largely grew up without it. Then I moved to Connecticut. Then Michigan. Snow, snow, and more snow for some months of the year. I have some friends who are the opposite–they grew up with the snow and moved to sunnier climates.
I believe everyone has an idea about snow. If you’ve watched Gilmore Girls even a handful of times, you might know that Lorelai is obsessed with snow. Her catchphrase is “I smell snow,” and my husband says that, too. You really can smell it. Lorelai believes good things happen when it snows (except for that one episode where snow ruins her day and Luke builds her an ice rink in her yard to cheer her up).
I have mixed feelings about snow. It’s beautiful when it’s a flaky downfall and when it blankets the ground in wintry white. It’s ugly when the rain mixes in and makes it all sludgy. It’s harmful when I wear the wrong shoes and fall and hurt my ankle (last year, true story). It’s also a pain to shovel and scrape and scoop out of the way.
This year, I’m determined to have a better attitude about the snow of the present, perhaps informed by the snow of the past. I wasn’t immune to the idea of the song “White Christmas” as a child. Snow sounded like a dream for a Florida kid. All the Hilary Duff fans out there will remember a little ditty called “When the Snow Comes Down in Tinseltown.” I could relate to Hilary’s (or Hilary’s writers’) desire to see snow in their sunny town.
In Connecticut, the snow quickly faded from a scenic delight to a seasonal nuisance and safety hazard for me. But after my first snow walk in Michigan, I feel recharged and on much better terms with the elements. I’ve even been thinking about all this in terms of snow songs, some related to Christmas, some not. How many can we name? “Winter Wonderland,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Let it Snow,” “White Christmas,” “Marshmallow World,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” I’m sure I’m missing some.
Part of me protests a little at the thought of snow before Thanksgiving. I’ll admit that I’m watching Christmas movies before Turkey Day, but I purposefully left my fall decorations out to try to stay in the autumnal spirit a little longer. Then I get snow. Then I write an article about wintry episodes of Gilmore Girls.
Isn’t it amazing that precipitated ice crystals foment so much nostalgia in people? It’s tied up in the holidays, for certain, but it’s also a subject of its own. Pragmatically, snow is an everyday issue. It changes plans, it causes injuries, and it leaves messes. But snow can also be pleasing aesthetically and nostalgically. Watching it fall can make you feel like you’re in a movie. Building a snowman can make you feel like you’re a little kid again. It’s all one swirly twirly mixed up snowball. We might as well sing songs, write poems, and watch movies about it.