Immovable Snow Day

The house where I grew up is about a two minute drive from a golf course, and from the ages of 4 to 17, every single time it snowed my little brother and I would beg and plead until an adult would drive us over so we could go sledding on hills a little more substantial than the one in our front yard. I was never sure if the couple who owned the golf course loved or hated the small army of children who showed up on their property every snow day, but they tolerated it, and that was enough for us.

I’ve always been somewhat of a scardy cat. Calling me a huge wuss would be rude, though not entirely inaccurate. But I got a thrill from sledding down those huge hills. A kind of pleasure mixed with pain. Numb fingers and toes and hair frozen in braids, with the feeling in my stomach that feels almost like butterflies, but more like lighting bugs- turning on and off in rotations that I don’t understand and seem all the more magical for it.

I’m not sure when snow days  turned from the most exciting thing to ever happen to something that I felt fairly indifferent towards, but I am guessing the switch occurred sometime around when my parents decided I was big enough to help shovel the driveway. The idea that the magical white powder that fell from the sky to make the whole world just a little bit dreamier could be work confused me in the way that only a 13 year old just learning about the indignities of the world could be confused.

The winter of my Senior year in high school my hometown got about three and a half feet of snow. School was canceled for a week and a half and I’m pretty sure that my mother had a panic attack trying to walk our dog, who’s fur blended in to the pile up of flurries pretty perfectly. My brother and I spent two hours every morning shoveling the driveway and never seeming to make a dent. When we came back out in the afternoon, the driveway looked like shovels had never touched it. We sledded out front and drank gallons of hot chocolate, sitting around the fireplace that my mother never let burn out. It felt cozy and warm, and cold and new in equal and substantial measures.

I spent most of New Year’s Eve with my back against a couch as my friend idly played with my hair, sipping cheap wine from a beer stein while listening to mellow music and staring out a big window at the sudden, though not unexpected snow storm.  I watched the ball drop with the TV on mute, and yelled and cheered and raised a glass to the year to come and the year that had passed. The snow outside the window carried on well past midnight. The weather doesn’t care about the new year- the weather doesn’t stand still for something so human as the changing of time.

The irresistible force paradox begs the question "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" What happens if something that literally can’t stop moving meets something that literally can not move?

The view out the window of the apartment where I spent
New Year's Eve
Weather is constantly moving and constantly changing. The snow is going to come no matter what is going on in our lives. Snow doesn’t care if you have a job you need to be at, or a party to get to, or a friend to visit. Snow is an unstoppable force. For children on snow days and adults with their shovels. For snow plow drivers and grocery store workers and mayors and shoe shiners- life goes on.

I used to think of my life as a sort of immovable object. I would continue to be and exist, no matter what the world threw my way.  But that isn’t true. I evolve and I move to reflect the world moving and evolving. I grow and I develop and I become different, and that isn’t a bad thing. I change more than the seasons. I develop faster than weather reports and breaking news bulletins. I’m not an immovable object, and that’s more than ok.

So when faced with the unstoppable forces of snow outside of my window, I don’t need to feel scared of the changes it brings. I can feel peaceful and I can feel calm. And I can drink my cheap wine from a beer stein and count down to the new year, and know that life goes on, no matter what changes come my way. 

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