|"The Snow Princess," photo by J. Berta|
This past week, we got walloped by about 13 inches of snow. It actually started Saturday night, after raining all afternoon. By Sunday morning, we were covered in snow. Not just any snow, but the think, sticky kind. The kind that makes shoveling and snowblowing a pain. I mean that in both the figurative sense and in the literal, as in I was in pain on Tuesday. I had to laugh (so as not to cry) at how ridiculously long it took me to tie my shoes. Bending over to get the paper was high adventure.
We, as adults bemoan (or another word beginning with "b") about winter and especially snow. It is inconvenient. Now that it's well below freezing, what did not get scraped off the sidewalks and driveways will be here to stay for a while. I saw today someone who had no choice but to place his/her garbage can on top of a snow mound. It reminded me of a medieval turret rising from a castle of snow.
Yet for kids, snow is truly a grand gift from above. They will play in it for hours. With the proper gear, they'll stay out in it for hours, rivaling the baddest 11Bravos at Fort Drum. Yup, they love it.
My daughter Carly started building a snow man and quickly determined that it was unfair that these creations always are men. "Why not a girl?"
Why not indeed?
So she and her friend Laelagh decided to create not just a snow woman, but something special- The Snow Princess. The opening photo is their final creation. I think it's pretty cool...and cold, clearly frozen by now.
Their creation and determination to love winter and the snow was the inspiration for the following poem. Thanks ladies.
The Snow Princess by Jeno Berta
Snow, heavy snow, as far as the eye can see.
Branches bend, some cracking from it.
Streets are covered, tires spin.
Down the street, a snowblower moans.
A plow truck rumbles.
Us grown-ups mutter at the mess.
Then there are the wise amongst us.
Those who not only see the beauty in this snow, but what it offers.
They strap on snow pants and boots, hats and gloves,
They cannot wait to get out into it.
Our mess is their paradise.
After they are done sledding, they get onto the business at hand.
From the mass of the thick, perfect snow, they bring it to life.
They roll and pack, shape and carve.
The head may crumble, but they are not deterred.
They simply start again.
This next time is better than the first.
There it stands, in the yard, in the cold, in the still falling snow.
“Not a snowman, Dad!” I’m corrected.
“Just wait ‘till we’re done.”
So I watch. I’m no longer cold.
A carrot becomes a nose, Ritz crackers let the snow…person see.
Then sticks for arms, and a scarf for warmth.
A wig and a tiara as a fitting final touch.
It is done. Behold, The Snow Princess.
My daughter and her friend pose with their new friend.
Three “Mighty Girls” indeed.
This, my friends, is how to deal with winter,
To create a memory.One that will last long after The Snow Princess has melted away.
Be well my friends,