Friday, 17 December 2010


Snow. Somehow it’s supposed to be fun. But I hate snow; and more than I hate snow, I hate being told that I should like it. Everyone gets excited. The children hurry through their breakfast in their urgency to get outside and pick it up, squish it together, throw it at each other and build pretend people with it. Even the vicar tells us, in his Sunday sermon, that if it snows we should ‘down tools’ and head out: we can even join him, sledging in the park. His dad was fantastic and would drive him miles when it snowed in his childhood Yorkshire to find the snow he had seen coming down the valley, and sled.
When it does snow, the children get cold fingers and wet gloves which then sit on the radiator where the dog steals them and hides under the table with them. They get snow in their eyes and cry. The utility room has puddles of water all over the floor, as does the bathroom where the children have dripped, towel-less after their hot bath. Hot chocolate is expected, using up the last of them milk. Three entire outfits appear in the washing basket because they are wet. A child is in tears, again, this time because we may not get to the Home Ed group Christmas party because of the blizzard swirling so much snow in the back garden that I can’t see the shed. And when we do venture out, we skid, ever so slightly, twice on residential roads, bringing too close to mind the prospect of an insurance claim. I worry about slipping if I go running and am disappointed that the 5k race tomorrow will be icy, if it is not cancelled, and will probably not be the personal best I was hoping to aim for as an end of year bench mark. A pile of wrapped Christmas present may not get delivered as a severe weather warning makes a quick trip down to grandparents unlikely, and so there will be more tears, and disappointed people, and gifts unexchanged.
But it is beautiful. The cloud substance seems somehow different, and I’m sure a meteorologist could tell me why, and so the light, glowing like iron in a furnace at both sun-rise and sunset, fills the sky and lifts my heart. And I am reminded that, no matter how well I plan my life, I do not have ultimate control, that I am at the mercy of snowflakes and that I only truly have the choice of how I react to the circumstances that will come my way.

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