Light and flitting through the air, the wet flakes shimmer as the descend to their final resting place. There is an intoxicating peace that comes from waking up to the earth covered in a blanket of snow. It is one of my favorite things during the winter season. This year we have not been so lucky to have some of this wintertime magic and it has left me feeling lacking, so I’m going to use this space to reminisce and hopefully help us all (or maybe just me) fill that void in our lives.
Looking back on my life some of the most incredible memories I have are during snowstorms. When I lived in Connecticut we would snowboard on the hill in our back yard for hours. We moved down to Virginia during the snowstorm of 2003 and my brother and I spent days gallivanting. During college, my friends and I would spend our snow days drinking wine and pizza box sledding on our transformed campus. When I studied abroad in Chile, one of the highlights was when we got to ski atop the magical world of the snowy Andes. Last year, my friend and I were in DC for a concert and on our way home, we simply had to pull over and prance around the Washington Monument. Even so, Annapolis has held some of my favorite memories of snow.
In 2010, there was a snowstorm in February. I was a freshman at Annapolis High, and life just seemed to stop for two weeks. There was no school, streets were closed, people’s responsibilities were put on hold, and a new world emerged. I spent the whole time with my best friend, going in between our houses every other day, eating junk food till the wee hours of the morning, and taking on the winter wonderland our neighborhood had become. One day, specifically, I remember us watching Mayor Cohen on the TV to, in typical Annapolis fashion, let the people know which bars were still open. My parents gathered all of us and we trekked down the middle of West St. We joined the other adventurers as we walked down to Fados. People were carting their kids in sleighs, dragging cases of beer down the streets, embracing the (seemingly) lawless land Annapolis had become.
Another time when I was old enough to drive, I remember cruising down Harry S Truman at night with one of my friends. We had Passion Pit playing loudly and the snow had just started to come down pretty hard. We were the only car on the road and I had my high beams on. We didn’t say a word to one another. As the light caught each of the white flakes as we were driving towards them, they seemed to be coming towards us and in that moment nothing else existed. When we got out of the car, we looked at each other and smiled, that was our experience and we were going to remember it forever. In the beautiful nature of snow days, this night is on the same par of the day when a group of my friends and I went sledding on an inflatable penguin down the yard of state circle. The possibilities are what you make of them!
There is something about the snow that captivates. In talking to some people about their favorite memories of the snow are there are common threads that I think may help explain it. When your immediate world becomes a winter wonderland there’s a ritual for enjoying it. You watch it fall in anticipation, preemptively cuddling up and seeking comfort with intention. Once you wake up, you become engulfed in the wonder of completely untouched snow on the city. When the snow has piled up high enough people are forced to slow down and spend time doing the things that they want to do, with the people they’re around. If you choose to embark out into the wild, there is a certain sense of “whatever goes” that changes your interaction with the places you are surrounded by every day. Be it running down the street to fill in for a last-minute snow day gig, building a snowman with the people you love, commandeering snowmobiles to gallivant in style, or embracing the life in a shut-down town, snow makes it special and unique. From where I stand, we all need a little more of that in our lives.