When I was young, I spent a lot of time playing outside during the winter. I grew up in Northern Ontario where winter is long, cold and shoveling snow is as routine as doing the dishes. I remember my sisters, cousins and I spending hours frolicking in the snow. We would laboriously shovel snow to clear a patch of ice on the lake for skating, or make the perfect trail for sliding on the snow bank beside our house. We could tell from one look outside if the snow was sticky enough for snowmen or fluffy enough for snow angels.
My kids have a very different childhood from how I grew up. They are city kids. Winter is different here from the rural area where I grew up. They don’t spend all day skating outside or playing in the snow and I sometimes wonder if they know what they are missing.
This week, when we were up north visiting my parents for Christmas, we spent a lot time outside. I think it’s been years since I have gone out to really enjoy a winter activity. I have mostly faced winter with a dreary outlook that causes me to see this time of year rather grimly. Winter is definitely not enjoyable when you spend all your time just putting up with it and waiting for spring.
On Christmas Day we decided to go for a walk in the woods. I have never taken outdoor photos in the winter so I was excited to see what I could come up with. I know this probably sounds really cheesy, but looking through the lens of my iPhone, the snowy landscape looked different to me. It didn’t look cold and uninviting or like something I had to begrudgingly tolerate. The scenery stirred something deep within me – a vaguely familiar feeling from those days that my sisters and I would spend all day out in the snow. Back then, winter time seemed like a magical wonderland of possibilities and we couldn’t get enough of it.
We drove back home from our winter walk in the woods, and I wondered when I lost that ability to see the magic in winter. I doubt that I will figure out exactly when and why I lost it. All I know for sure is that I saw a hint of some familiar magic in the snowy landscape that day and I want more of it.
Photos taken with my iPhone3Gs and edited with Camera+, Snapseed, PicFX and DeluxeFX.
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