The Way of the Word

14. December 2009

The Old of Winter

Filed under: general — jensaltmann @ 13:57
Tags: , ,

When I got up this morning, I opened the curtain and looked outside at the first snow of this winter. My spontaneous reaction was “Oh, crap” at the thoughts of how this means I now have to shovel snow, and that it will make it more difficult to ride my bicycle, therefore I’ll have to take into account that trips will take longer.

Then I wondered when I had gotten old.

When I was a child, I loved snow. I believe that all children do. At least I haven’t met a single one yet that doesn’t.  Stomping through freshly fallen snow as the first to leave your footprints, building a snowman, having a snowball fight… Gods, winter used to be so much fun. White Chrismas was a promise of having fun outside while indoors, the adults were setting up Christmas.

Then, one morning, snow became a chore. I looked outside and didn’t see the potential for snowmen, or snowball fights, I no longer saw a pure flat surface that just begged to have footprints made into it. I saw something that needed to be removed from the sidewalk and the driveway. I saw something that meant I needed to check if my winter boots were still okay to wear another year.

Snow had turned from something wonderful into a number of chores that needed doing.

I guess that was when I became a grown-up, only I didn’t realize it at the time.

If you have children, you’re lucky. Because for children, snow brings that sense of wonder and excitement, that completely different world. If you have children, you watch them and you re-experience that excitement with them. They remind you of more innocent times, when you didn’t let chores distract you from having fun. At least not for long.

If you don’t have children, however, there is the danger that you will forget how it used to be. The fun disappears, becoming a distant memory. Perhaps it vanishes forever.

Until, one morning, you wake up, you look outside at the snow, and you wonder when you got old.

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