I spent the entire 80 minutes of my English satire class looking out the window and silently weeping. The snow was falling in massive white globs and the green was slowly disappearing before my eyes.
The green — not the orange or brown, the colours that usually precede winter — the luscious summer green was disappearing under a blanket of snow.
Feeling grumpy, I slowly made my way to Place Riel to wait for my bus. When I arrived, my mood was only worsened by Saskatoon Transit’s attempt at a joke. All of the buses with electronic displays programmed their signs to flash between the buses’ destinations and greetings of “Merry Christmas” and “Be a Snow Angel.”
In retrospect it was a pretty good joke but at the time I was far from impressed and, judging by the cloud of gloom that emanated out of almost every person surrounding me, I don’t think many people were.
As I was feeling beaten up and ready to crawl into my Snuggie for the next eight months, a Japanese exchange student who is in a class of mine stood beside me and stared out the window. Her eyes were bulging and she wore wearing a massive smile from ear to ear. In my dreary state, I thought little of her exuberant appearance and made a snide comment about the snow and its unruly presence in our lives.
As if she didn’t even hear me, she simply turned to me and said, “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the snow.”
Growing up in Saskatchewan, I don’t remember the first time I saw snow. It’s always been around and I have always been annoyed by it. But I suddenly realized that I have, like many others, taken it for granted.
Call it an epiphany, a revelation or whatever you want, but something hit me. It’s not that I didn’t hate the snow any less, but my appreciation level shot through the roof. I looked out the window and saw snow differently. It’s this gorgeous, pure white fluffy stuff that falls from the sky when everything else looks dreary. So why do we let it create misery so easily? The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that it is a cause for celebration — no matter how early it arrives.
A huge portion of the world will never get to make a snow fort, a snowball, a snow angel, a snow man or almost anything preceded by the word snow.
I don’t know how to explain what happened to me any better than by being disgustingly corny, so here I go: It was the first time I really saw the snow.
I know. I want to barf too.