I love snow. I love it more now that my son is old enough to shovel. I hate shoveling. But snow, I love the snow. One of my favoritest (yes, I made that up) moments in life is running in falling snow. It is peaceful and the world is soft, pure, quiet for a moment.
I think snow is God’s great equalizer. Snow to me is Hope. It’s like the world is a big Etch-A-Sketch. With these dark, hard, linear lines leading up, left, down, down, down, right. And God shakes us up and erases it all. Back to a blank slate. With a soft blanket of snow.
No matter the time of day or night, when it starts snowing, I lace up my sneakers and go for a run through Hope. The pure white snow covers the landscape and garbage and construction zones and hard edges. Everything is softened. And clean. And pure. Sometimes you can’t even recognize where you are. Sometimes the pure white expansive field of white is overwhelming and disorienting. Because everything becomes the same. Just soft, puffy mounds of Hope.
When I’m the first person to run through a space, it is perfect. I can’t tell where the road ends and where the paths into the woods begin. I just go, in a familiar direction. And sometimes I fall off paths, trip over covered curbs, slip on ice. But I’ve made my own path. I just pick myself up and decide where to go from there, and at what pace. No one has taken a step before me, no one is behind me. I don’t need to explain my choice of path to anyone, I don’t need to walk where someone else wants me to go. These are my footsteps I’ve leaving to tell the world I was here.
Snow offers so many possibilities. Everything is bright and clean before the plows come through, before the mounds of snow turn gray and hard. The world is quiet. The snow muffles all sounds, it quiets the rumble of cars, the rustling of squirrels, the voices of neighbors. It quiets the anxieties and fears and insecurities of the world. It quiets the voices inside and outside of my head.
The world seems to stop for a moment, and the world catches its breath at the sight of the trees’ curved branches outlined in white, the mesmerizing curtain of white falling from the sky. And then the air is punctuated by children’s laughter and squeals. Hope.
All of that is why I can’t miss a run in the snow. I long to be the first set of prints forging my own path through Hope. I marvel at how the world’s dirt and garbage and mess is clean and pure again. I bask in how the world’s hard edges have softened. I meditate in a space where insecurities and fears are quiet. Just for a moment.