Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Past

For the last two days, my parents and I have been on a trek to the great state of Wisconsin. We have seen a lot as we traveled through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and soon to be Wisconsin itself. But I must say my favorite thing we have seen thus far is simply...snow. Granted, the flaming car on the side of the road was a very close second, but, snow, in all its simplicity, it just plain beautiful to me.

There is something about a fresh blanket of white on the ground that speaks of new beginnings and hope and innocence. I sat on the bed in our hotel this morning staring out the window in awe of the falling flurries. I couldn't stop smiling. For me, snow is reminiscent of my childhood. It reminds me of a time when life was simple and easy. Though I only spent five years of my very young life in states where we were lucky enough to have white Christmases, the memories of those years live vibrantly in my mind. I can still vividly see my mom and I walking home from church one December night when I was in second grade, the sounds of carols floating in the air behind us, as we spontaneously erupted into the best snowball fight I have had to date. The laughter mingled with soft melodies and the faint crunch of snow beneath our feet will always be one of my fondest memories.

There was just something about that winter, my last white December, that I will always remember as magical. Though that is one of the only white Christmases I remember, old home movies take me back to the rest. Movies where we are dressed to the nines in our snow gear: stocking caps, scarves, snow boots. Movies where my dad holds me in his lap as we sled down what seemed at the time to be treacherous hills on sleds the size of miniature umbrellas. Movies of me in onesie pajamas with the feet attached as I pop peanut butter balls into my mouth and grin cheesily at the camera. Movies of Christmases when I was filled with the wonder of a child, as snow gently fell outside the window.

Those are the winters I like to remember, and that is exactly what I have been doing as I stare wistfully out the window on our drive through the farmlands of Illinois. Snow blankets the fields as far as I can see, and I am hoping I will carry the feelings of hope and simplicity it brings with me for many days to come.

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