Making the Most of Snow Days

Snow days are awesome. I’ve had several in the past week and have been so thoroughly pleased not to have to go to work and teach and be responsible for so many young people. I love these young people dearly…and also it can sometimes be very exhausting to work with them, especially when I’m working with several of them at a time, in a classroom setting.

These past few snow days, however, left me with a sense of not having fully taken advantage of the day. They were pretty relaxing, pretty productive, but somehow they didn’t really feel like snow days. So this morning (yet another snow day!), I thought about what was missing in my current snow days, vs. the snow days of my youth.

The answer: playing in the snow! I hadn’t done that in years. Why don’t more grownups play in the snow? Perhaps because getting all decked out in snow gear is kind of awkward and bulky, and all of your clothes get soggy anyway…and also probably because most of us are not really used to playing anymore. Especially the kind of playing that doesn’t have any particular aim in mind.

You guys…this was the best snow day decision I’ve made yet. Here are some things I took away from the experience:

  1. I really really love being out in nature. I’m a lot better at actually going outside when it’s warm out, though. I don’t spend as much time outside in the winter…and I could tell that I really needed to get out there, because I was so giddy the whole time I was outside.
  2. The world is so beautiful. It’s easy to forget this when we get sucked into the busyness of our daily lives and responsibilities and work and politics. But lying in the snow and looking at the sparkles swirling off the trees and through the sunlight was nothing short of magical. And it may be easier to notice magic outside after a snowfall, but who’s to say we can’t find it all around us, all the time? Also, for some reason, watching the snow fly around in the air kind of gave me the feeling of being tickled…so that I was goofily giggling to myself, as I was lying alone in a snow bank.
  3. Falling down is very fun when you have something squishy to land in. I went out with no plans, no goals, no activities in mind…and it turned out my very favorite thing to do while I was out there was to throw myself into the snow and feel the way it cushioned my fall and instantly molded itself to a perfectly shaped chair to fit my body. This was also very amusing, and also caused some goofy giggling.
  4. Trees make good picture frames. Tree trunks, rather. It gives you a different and fascinating perspective to look at the world as it shows up between tree trunks. Or from the ground, as I mentioned earlier.
  5. Very deep snow is not so good for snow angels. I had forgotten this, but if the snow is too deep, it’s very challenging to move your legs and arms far enough to make a decent angel shape.
  6. The best kind of exercise, in my opinion, is the kind that doesn’t feel like exercise. Why drag yourself to a gym, or out for a run, when you can get a workout by joyfully throwing yourself into snow banks and frolicking through snow that comes up to your knees? Of course, if you actually like going to the gym or going for runs, then go ahead and do those things. But I prefer frolicking.

So that was my morning. It was really fun, made me glad to be alive, made the day feel like a snow day, and helped me feel less resistant to the idea that spring will probably not be here for quite a while still…even though when I got inside I was soaked and had several snowballs hiding out in the legs of my snow pants. It was totally worth it.