Every night, I turn on Adam Clark on KBJR and wait. I know it's not his fault, but I'm getting anxious and irritable. I don't want to up my meds. When will it snow? One inch of crust on the ground isn't cutting it. After the yard waste site closes on Courtland Street, and the temperatures dance around freezing most days, it's time to get on with it. Summer's over! I try not to whine, just suffer in silence - most of the time - but where's the snow?
The lake effect deposits have all been along the South Shore. The Alberta Clippers don't stall and hang around long enough to give us a good dose. Maybe we should recruit the clipper's cousin, the "Saskatchewan Screamer" to get results.
Most folks who grumble about snow ignore its finer points. That's not to say it isn't inconvenient and a mess to clean up, but there is fascination and beauty in its arrival.
The first snowfall rarely approaches vengefully, invading like some Norse god coming from Valhalla. No, it arrives stealthily with a light tread, frequently in the middle of the night. If we are lucky, the midday flurry with its teasing promise becomes a cascade later in the day. Each flake bends and leans, reaching for its brother's hand, clasping it in quiet resolve. They drift to earth like linked skydivers. These firstborn icy fragments remain and change everything. Broken branches, unraked leaves and candy wrappers stuck in shrubs don't disappear, they just snooze quietly under the white mantle.
When it gets serious, a good snowstorm comes in a rush, and the horizon fades away, engulfing all in a white, opaque solitude that covers trails where a skier can lose himself. Then each step, push and swish, accelerates toward a reflective mood that doesn't ask for judgment, just commitment. And when the engine of the heart needs a rest, a quickened wind shakes the trees above and releases a delicate powder that brushes a face where blood meets ice.
Snow also give kids a chance to be kids. Neighborhoods fill with snowmen if the conditions are right, no limits to a designer's aesthetic sense. Duluth has great hills for a plastic toboggan or disc to give children the thrill of their young lives. After the first few moments of terror zipping down a slope, the next downhill trip pastes an excited smile or grin on any little face.
The opportunity is also there for a dad or mom to be a child again. The rocker or TV in the living room catches a break, and the once-youthful person, weary from life's necessities, plays. Even if a good snowstorm is a pain in the short run, you don't need big bucks to enjoy it later.
So come on, Adam; we're behind you! Before the next front scurries away on wisps of wind in the morning, let it snow, let it snow.
Doug Lewandowski is a retired counselor, educator and licensed psychologist. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.