I spent three years of my childhood in Great Falls, Montana. Prior to that, I had lived mostly in Texas and California. So for me, snow was a treat!
When we lived in California, my Dad bundled us up and drove into the mountains for the day just so we could see snow. He made sure we had boots and mittens and a sled, and then let us have our fun. Snowball fights, snowmen, snow angels… we did it all and loved every minute of it.
When the first Montana snowfall happened during my sophomore year of high school, my sister and I raced outside to play. Our neighbors across the street thought we were nuts. After all, it snowed nine months out of the year there!
During those entire three years, I never grew tired of it. I loved how the sky would turn pink with fat clouds and seemed to “glow” at night. And then down it would come… copious amounts of tiny, glitterific powder. The wind would blow it across the road like sand in the desert, and cause it to drift over everything in its path, creating a surreal landscape.
I reveled in the “crunch” under my boots and tires. As the sun came out, the blue sky set off the brilliant sparkles of white diamonds, and just like the song, the trees really did “glisten in the snow”.
Over the next three years, I learned to drive on it, play in it and ski in it. I snuck out of the house in it, partied in it, got lost in it, stuck in it, and nearly died in it (two stories for another time), but never stopped loving it. For me, snow wasn’t just a seasonal picture on a Christmas card. It was the backdrop to my life.
As I would walk to/from school, I was amazed at how quiet the world was. Just like the heavy pink clouds, the snow created a blanket of “hush” over everything. The peace I would feel was almost spiritual. No, not almost. It was spiritual. I can conjure up the calm by thinking about it now, over 40 years later.
As I drove through town, I noticed something else. The snow-covered houses were no longer fancy or plain, kept-up or rundown. All the driveways had the same white, vaguely car-shaped vehicles parked in them. Each yard had the same landscaping. Street after street, there were no “poor” or “rich” neighborhoods.
Today it snowed in my Texas town. This is always a big event for Texans who, like me years ago, don’t get to see snow very often. There’s not much of it, but it’s sticking. There is enough of that frozen magical stuff to bring people out of their homes to watch as their children and grandchildren squeal in delight while doing all the things my sister and I did 40 years ago. Texans of all ages are standing outside taking pictures to post on their social media. And suddenly my feed is covered with the smiling faces of children and adults, snow-covered lawns and cars, and confused dogs.
And for just a moment, snow has again become the great equalizer.
I believe that things happen in threes. I believe in serendipity. And today, I have heard the expression “pink light” three times. Today, I feel that same calm I felt years ago. I believe there is a global pink cloud hovering over us, and I am looking forward to the snow.