November 17, 2019
This past week we had our first snow fall. Not really, because we woke up to a surprise snow fall on November replacing the stunning colors of leaves with transformational white on all the fields, forests and trees. There was another snow fall in between, but that snowfall also did not last. I noticed neighbors hammering in stakes that marked out their driveways, steel signposts flagging culverts and ditches. That was when the sun was still warm and rains still cool, and within hours and a couple of days, all evidence disappeared.
Last Sunday, November 10, the snow started falling again. It was a nice, gentle, fluffy kind of fall. It blanketed not only “Snowen Sound,” but most of Ontario and Quebec as well. Even the Locals were calling this one somewhat early. I went out and shoveled the largest driveway I’d ever owned by hand. When I was done, I could look back and see what I had accomplished and felt pretty proud. The only problem was, it was still snowing. Late that evening I shoveled the entire driveway again. We went to bed while it was still snowing. Tuesday morning, I got up and shoveled my driveway one more time, this time making a path for just one car. I left for work. I thought it a little strange that I was the only one in my neighborhood shoveling that morning.
The sun came out that morning and felt rather good. I came home for lunch and noticed that the rest of my driveway had been cleaned. I came in and thanked Sue for doing such a good job cleaning the rest of the snow from our driveway and she said “You’re welcome.” The sun was so warm and strong that it had finished the job for us. I looked at the neighbors and noticed that rather than shoveling, they were just driving on top of the snow. Most of them probably looked at the weather forecast this coming week, climbing up to 0, 2, 4, and 5 degrees. The sun went behind the clouds that afternoon, with a few more squalls covering driveways and roads. It all happened so quietly, quickly, ordinarily and expectedly, like no big deal. Windshield scrapers and snow tires were put on and in cars. Gloves and boots and toques and scarves were dug out of closets.
Even before Christmas carols began playing on the radio, winter made its appearance and the freshness of it all strikes us with child-like awe. My neighbor said “snow was God’s biggest play ground for children (and adults alike).” Welcome to the Lord’s winter park. Even though we may all be getting a little older and more uncomfortable with snow, may this first snow fall bring the little child out in us all.