Feel the magic

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.

Follow me on Instagram: @callmeSheBear

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19 thoughts on “Feel the magic

  1. Rani Kaye

    The “magic” part of winter kind of goes away when you start having to shovel it off your car and drive to and from work, in the dark, on slippery roads.

    Even living in the city, I catch the “winter wonderland” feeling sometimes late at night when I take my dog out back and all is quiet, snow-covered, and lovely.

    But as soon as it is time to drive a car, it is bah-humbug all the way, baby 🙂

    Reply
    1. callmeshebear Post author

      lol don’t remind me! It took me 30 minutes to dig my car out of the snow this morning.

      It’s little things like taking the dog for a walk or going for a quiet walk in the woods that matter most.

      Reply
  2. lsmith2710

    Nice, took me back to where I grew up in Tenn. with snow and we were outside a lot growing up. Brought back memories help me to not thing of winter as dreary……….

    Reply
    1. callmeshebear Post author

      It amazes when I think about it – we would literally spend all day outside in the snow. The only time we go in would be for lunch to eat and hang our socks and mitts by the wood stove for a bit, then head back outside for more. I remember my dad coming to look for us at dinner time and we would hide from him in the snowbanks lol Fond memories.

      Reply
  3. SmallHouseBigGarden

    I could write volumes about hating the winter and what it did to my psyche each year in September when I knew it was coming. I finally moved out of the north 3 years ago and think I’ve figured out why I felt so desperate all winter….it wasn;t the snow or even the cold..it was that god damned grey sky that permeates everything in Massachusetts from November to May…seriously.
    In retrospect I should have done alot of things differently to waste less of the year and you’ve hit on one of the most important with this post: physical outdoor activity is key to coping with winter. As a kid I liked playing in the snow and don’t recall noticing the grey sky…but as an adult I never did much outside other than shovel and race from one heated space to another. I think there’s a big connection to be made here!!!!

    Reply
    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Yes definitely. I live in Toronto now and winter here is not like Northern Ontario. It is grey, damp and dreary here for most of the winter months. In the last few years we have had very little snow, so everything just looks really dull and dreary.

      We had a snowstorm here a couple of nights ago so right now there is a lot of snow. It makes it a little slower to get around the city, but I prefer having snow than rain. I hope the snow stays.

      Reply
  4. Cherrie Zell

    Snow in Canberra, Australia, is brief and fleeting. Some days, people arrive at work quite excited – “Did you see the snow on the Brindabellas this morning?” But we bemoan the cold wind that blows up from the Snowy Mountains to the south. Occasionally, the snow hits our streets and the newspaper is filled with pictures of children playing in the light dusting. When we do venture south, there is one advantage to the snow that falls in our region – the colour of the sky is never dull because we don’t notice it. We’re too distracted by the bright colours of the rozellas, a native bird, and the beautiful patterns in the bark of the snow gums.

    Reply
  5. denisefrombolton

    Thanks for this alternative way of looking at snow. So far this year we have no snow here in England, but usually I hate it, but if snow comes I will remember this post and your wonderful pictures.

    Reply
  6. sparkyfizz

    I’m very pleased to have discovered you via Freshly Pressed. Please don’t feel pressure, lots of us write blogs and understand that you can’t always deliver. For now though, you’re producing lovely work, and I’m glad you’re there. All the best for 2013!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! | Yorkshire Viking Norway

  8. Pingback: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! | Yorkshire Viking Norway

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