Snow, snow and more snow!

Trudging over to Latin class!
With Spring literally a day away here in Ottawa, it seems that winter is reluctant to release its grip! Over the past week, the piles of snow had started to melt, the temperatures rose as far as 7 and 8 degrees Celsius. It seemed that the herald of Spring was preparing to blow its trumpet. But nature had another idea! Actually I am not complaining. There is something quite beautiful about all this snow. And it is not even too cold after all. We had our lectures rescheduled to accommodate people who have to travel a distance to get here. We have another exam on Friday so that gave me plenty of time today to sit at my desk and try and study whilst looking at the snow coming down. I could just spend hours sitting and looking at it, there is a peacefulness that accompanies the flakes as they fall to the ground.
It hasn’t eased up snowing since after 11pm yesterday evening and as I write one of the brothers is out with the snowplough (he was also out at 5.30am this morning to clear the way for the students to go to classes, God bless him!). When I went to bed last evening, it had just begun snowing but this morning when I drew back the curtains, I confess the child in me did a little somersault when I saw that the world was white again!  The harshness of the snowstorm was overshadowed by the majesty and innocence it portrayed. The snow blanketed the entire city, covering every nook and corner. Its grace was undeniable. In addition, it kept the population from going about their daily lives so throughout the day I was mindful to ask the guardian angels to protect all those travelling. As it stands, there is probably about 18-20 cm of snow out there. It doesn’t sound like much until you start walking (trudging) through it or when the Council start clearing the paths and it is all piled up like walls!

St. Paul's University (19th of March 2013)
It’s funny because my experience of the snow is very different from my time in Poland. Part of it I think is because I am with other people who don’t have this kind of snow in their countries. It’s interesting because some of us embrace the wonderment of the experience. Others would prefer to be like hibernating animals and just wake up when it is all melted. Here in Canada, the cold is different too, it doesn’t penetrate your bones as deeply as Polish cold, or so it seems. And believe me, in Poland there was a lot of snow. I remember wondering if I wonder ever see any green grass whilst I was there. The snow was there for almost seven months. Here in Ottawa I have had time to go for walks in the snow, be out in snowfalls, watch it coming down as I sit for meals, to look at the various formations, to be aware of a universe that is so much bigger than I am. The freshness of the air when it snows makes it so much easier to breathe, to live, to be thankful.

My memories of snow in Ireland are very much linked with childhood. Being out in the snow seems to provoke those responses that reach into the depths of childhood. It transports us to those happy days of being wrapped in layers of clothes, of throwing snowballs, freezing our little socks off because we don’t want to go inside and ‘warm up’, and of drinking sweetened tea when we did eventually come inside. It was the time for making snowmen, of sneaking a carrot from the bag in the shed to give Frosty a nose! Those were the times where we didn’t seem to mind our fingers and toes being numb with the cold. I still remember my younger sister passing out when she started to ‘defrost’ after playing out in the snow! The reality is that life can be stressful. We all have those days where we are so stressed and unfortunately sometimes there are many in a row. We can look back at our childhoods and remember how simple things were.  Sometimes all it takes is a snowfall to remind us that life can still be simple if we can appreciate the little things: the playfulness of throwing snowballs, of messing about and of appreciating the stillness. So as we wait for Spring...we continue to watch the snow, maybe is the last snowfall of the year! Who knows!

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