Since it began snowing here in Colorado, my three-year-old has been pleading, begging, damn it, even yearning, to build a snowman which, ahem, her father and I have never taken the time to do with her. It’s really my fault, seeing as I gave her the illustrated wordless book The Snowman, one of my childhood favorites about a snowman that comes to life, visits his maker (a little British boy) and then whisks him away by flying across half the globe – only to return the boy back home by morning. And let’s not even mention that stunning short film inspired by the book that each of you should already be adding to your Amazon wishlists this very second.
But before you start to go all hoity-toity suburban stay-at-home mom on me, let me point out the obvious: I do not have adequate gloves for the task. Plus, for the past three years, global warming has created shitty snow that packs poorly. Plus, do you realize how cold snow is? (I actually tried the glove excuse on my husband, and he volunteered his ski gloves for me to use.)
The truth is, even though I spend most of my days home with my son (an 18-month-old) and my daughter, the mundane repetition of my life can climax in a sort of lethargy. It feels like far too much work to bundle up my children for a messy, cold, wet, inconvenient adventure in the snow. I just won’t do it.
Yet just outside my window, the neighborhood glows white, transforming my urban street into a quiet wilderness. And as I sit inside, I miss the miracle. I can even be aware that I’m missing it, and instead of stopping everything to take part in it – throwing on boots and coats and gloves and hats lickety split – I’d rather chastise myself mentally while I check Instagram. Travesty: the only word that can sum up my exchange of relationship, beauty, and the natural world for the digital, the lonely, the convenient.
So today I stood up, bundled my kids, pulled on my gloves, and stepped outside to shape a snowman from a snowdrift. Join me, won’t you?
i thank you God for most this amazing
by e. e. cummings
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)