“If you choose not to find joy in snow, you will have less joy in your life but still have the same amount of snow.”
I have no idea who wrote that, but since we live in the North, it is an attitude we should all embrace. We could even make the city’s unofficial motto and put up signs proclaiming “Love the snow.”
I can remember as a kid hoping for a good snowfall so that we could go sledding. When I lived at Northlands, I always wanted a good amount of snow so that I could bank the trailer before the colder days of winter arrived. It really did make the trailer warmer and easier to heat. I still like a good snowfall while the temperatures are mild so that I can make snow people, ice candles, and put up a Christmas display. You can go around the world and watch people as they enjoy the first snowfall. It is a magical, wondrous event. Kids, adults and a lot of critters like to go out and play in the snow and on the ice.
Just for fun, I looked up some of the history of the love affair between humans and snow. The earliest known photograph of a snowman was taken in 1853 by Welsh photographer Mary Dillwyn. In 1511, Brussels’ leaders decided to hold a Snowman Festival to distract the poor and hungry. In protest to this rather cynical move, pornographic snow figures appeared all over the city. Unfortunately, this was well before cameras or cellphones had been invented, so we can only imagine what they may have looked like. The earliest known illustration of a snowman appears in the margin of a book created in 1380, called the Book of Hours. It was probably someone’s doodle.
So, as you can see, snow men, snow people. snow animals and snow creations have been around for a long, long time. I figure that they go back thousands of years into the stone age. Imagine a group of people living in a cave. They emerge on a sunny day after the first snowfall and then get into a snowball fight just for the fun of it, with a lot of cheering and laughing. Then because the snow is good packing snow they built a snow creature. No archaeological evidence remains but it would be something humans would do.
Since we live in a Northern climate that gets lots of snow and cold, we should certainly embrace it and use it to our advantage. Every winter I like to make a few ice candles, purely for decorative purposes. They are called ice candles, but really they are hollow ice vases that you can put candles in. I often set them on top of snow pedestals I make by packing snow in a garbage can and after letting it sit overnight, remove the pillars.
I also usually make some snow people because it is a fun and creative thing to do. People seem to enjoy them, and I can use some of them to light our stairs. With an abundance of snow and mild temperatures, I started making them early this year — one per day as it takes a few hours to make and assemble each of them.
This year I kept making them because on four separate occasions someone would come by at night and destroy them. I suspect it may have been kids. In total, 14 were destroyed over the course of a couple weeks.
I do feel a little sad for whoever destroyed them because, apparently, they feel and think that it is OK to go on someone’s property and destroy things that other people have made. They are being destructive rather than constructive. That’s not a very positive attitude and it will get them into trouble eventually. To them it may be a form of entertainment, like other forms of vandalism and bad behaviour. It may be a sign of our times, but I am not going to let it destroy my wonder and love of snow or let the actions of a few cloud my opinion of all. The more snow people, the better.