Snow Happiness

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This morning the sun arose just a little bit earlier. It was brighter outside than usual. The kids were just a little happier, and walk with a little more skip in their step. They are more eager to go to school and play with their friends. In fact we are all a little brighter than usual. It snowed last night.

___It’s magical that a sprinkling of 5 cm of new snow can transform our landscape, and with it the spirits of our neighborhood. New snow is pristine, covering everything with a whitewash of, well, white. It’s as if some gigantic bottle of baby powder was evenly sprinkled on everything. A landscape of white greets your senses, with only a hint of green showing from our evergreens, who have the ability to partially shed their coat of snow.

___Snow, when fresh fallen, is white. Each particle has a unique internal crystalline structure, formed through their travels by a combination of wind, temperature, and available water. One could say that their uniqueness alone is something to marvel. Take an area of 300 square kilometers, drop 10 cm by 300 square km of snow on the area, and ensure each and every snow flake is unique. Who designs these structures?

A wonderful snowscape. Are you paying attention? Photographer: Daniel Guffanti

A wonderful snowscape. Are you paying attention?

___Once fallen, the blanket of snow is an excellent reflector of available light. It is brighter be it at night or day, and this increased available light makes us all happier. At night, if you are outside shoveling or walking home, because the street lights are efficiently reflected by the snow, everything is so much brighter. In the morning, the increased light pierces through your drapes, calling you to wake up just a little earlier. Morning light is a distinct cool white.

___Fresh fallen snow filters the air, leaving it fresh and pristine. Snow blankets the dull browns and pale greens of grass. It covers eyesores such as blotches of displaced dirt, stains of excess road salt, and windblown pieces of plastic or errant garbage, thus reducing visual clutter and allowing better focus. The white scenery, the crisp clean air, and the muffled sounds, leaves one with a unique and wonderful feeling. I’d say it is a Canadian feeling.

___There are many of us that are simply too busy to pay attention. We carry on about making more money, buying a bigger house or car, how to finance it all, or how to get away from our mind’s octopus and entanglement. I once wondered if you walked around downtown Toronto’s Union Station in a pink bunny suit during the morning rush hour, would anyone notice? I suspect not. I would predict that you would get run over by the hordes of business suits running to get to their office and plug into their computers. Yet this morning, Mother Nature is, very politely, seeking our attention by blanketing our environment in white. Will we pay attention?

1 thought on “Snow Happiness

  1. David Ing

    I enjoy the snow. In Toronto, it’s not the same as Gravenhurst in my childhood, where the snowbanks would go up on the main street in December, and stay there through March. But then, Gravenhurst didn’t continue to be like my childhood either, as Muskoka Winter Carnivals were being cancelled due to lack of snow.

    I like the way that snow levels social status. When it snows, it impacts everyone, and the people in a hurry are the ones who get most annoyed. That somehow entertains me, as a way for nature to tell the busy that they should slow down.

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