As I write we have 8 inches of snow on the ground, and the snow isn’t supposed to stop for another day and a half.
This is the second time it has snowed and stuck for several days since I moved to Oregon just over 5 months ago.
These periods make me realize that I actually miss snow. Yes it makes some things more difficult. Walking and pulling carts takes way more effort than if the ground were dry. Getting water to animals takes at least 2 times as long as it would if it were above freezing. Washing eggs takes almost 3 times as long because all of the pipes are frozen going to the egg washing machine so we have to wash 65 dozen (collected over 3 days) by hand in the house. Milking takes longer because suction hoses are freezing. The hot wires have to be watched to make sure they don’t sag and sink into the snow and ground. Unlucky lambs born out in the field are more than likely to die because their Mom’s just can’t get them dry fast enough. Yet I miss it, and here is why.
Snow makes everything feel clean and pristine. When it first falls it is so pure and light-filled. It makes the whole world glow.
It isn’t as wet as rain. I can be out for hours with snow falling on me, and will be less wet than 5 minutes in a heavy downpour. Especially here in Oregon I have been in more COLD rainy days than I can remember. Rain being in the spring (early spring) is weird for me. I am used to summer rains, which usually feel nice compared to the heat that usually predates them. Here in Oregon, the rain is just cold. It is cold, wet, dark and miserable. Snow is bright, drier, and yes cold, but less bitingly cold.
Rain makes thing wet, and muddy, and slippery. I find it much easier to walk on snow and not slip than mud. I slip so often on mud. Not only that, but mud makes things dirty, I go through a ridiculous number or pants when it is muddy, but while it has been snowing I have been able to wear the same pair for the last 3 days, and they are clean. Not only is the ground and mud frozen, but all of the poop is as well! It smells less, and it just feels so much cleaner and safer!
What is really important becomes clear. Extra side projects become a thing of the past when there is snow, so that there is enough time to focus on what really needs to be done. The essentials become clear, both for work and for my body/mind. I realize I need more down time. More time to myself to just sit down and read, or write. I need to stop for a while and get thoughts out of my head. Right now, I feel more relaxed than I have in days, and I worked from 5:45 until 3:30. But as I sit here, and allow myself time to just process the day, I know this is what I need. I often lose sight of spending time on myself when the weather is “nicer.” I think, “oh I should be outside doing something! I can’t just sit here and do nothing!” Often times I will just sit and check Facebook or whatever, but I will feel guilty about it in the long run. But right now with all of the snow coming down, I know there is nothing better I could be doing for myself than sitting right here, relaxing, and tending to the fire. Other things can wait, right now, I need time for me, and I need to make time for me even when it ISN’T snowing.
Snow is revitalizing for the earth. It kills pest and bad bacteria, and most importantly, it adds water to the soil and aquifers. Especially in Illinois most of water in our aquifers is snow melt, and the summer after we didn’t have much snow was the most draught filled summer in almost 50 years. The drought was combined with the fact that it didn’t rain all summer long, but the wells were being sucked dry because there hadn’t been enough snow to properly replenish them.
As much as I thought I was going to say “see ya later cold snowy winters, I hope to never see you again!” It has happened very differently, I miss snow, I miss the clean, I miss the hard frozen wonderland.
That’s my car out there.
Now I head out to go dig the woodpile out of the snow so I can actually keep the wood stove going.