So there’s big snow here in the Northeast. Up here, in the Hudson Valley, up to 3 feet.
I see lots of video, lots of reporting, on people shoveling.
But where are the snowmen?
The snowball fights?
Nature has delivered primo conditions for all of the above. Are kids (of all ages) seizing the moment?
Maybe I’m just not looking in the right places for evidence of these activities — the joy of the big snow.
But I have this little niggling fear that Covid is throwing some hot water on the joy of snow.
I read this story in the Times last week saying that kids are “slid[ing] down an increasingly slippery path into an all-consuming digital life.” Screen time and gaming in particular have at least doubled since the outbreak and (no surprise) virtual has replaced normal stuff like hanging out in school and physical activities like sports — and snowmanning.
Kids have found comfort by curling up in a kind of digital “pleasure cocoon” as Dr. Jenny Radesky, a pediatrician who studies children’s use of mobile technology at the University of Michigan, put it.
I get it. We all get it. We all have our cocoons. And we’re not necessarily proud of it.
But one of the big pandemic lessons is reminding us to seize the moment. To wake up and, in this case, smell the roses. To embrace the gifts, great and small, that we do have — ones we most likely ignored and took for granted when life was pre-Covid “normal.”
Snow, it’s not just for shoveling.
It’s wondrous. It’s nature’s bling. The stuff of ephemeral architecture. A bizillion flakes of possiblilities. And surprise. And memories.
It’s OK to interrupt. When I was a little kid we lived in an apartment in Queens that had a tiny balcony. One night, my mother, totally out of character, went out on the balcony, grabbed some snow, came inside and threw a (badly made) snowball at me.
One of the best memories ever of me and my usually unplayful mom.
So get out of the cocoon, spread your wings, grab a carrot and some coal, and remember FUN.
PS Feel free to share your snowman creations/sightings.
I have two passions: animals and words. And I have managed to spend most of my life combining those two lvoes, using words to create awareness, to touch hearts, to help alleviate suffering, and to just make the world a kinder kind of place fdor all living things. I spent more than 30 years as a jo0urnalist at The Bergen Record newspaper, and have t a lifetime een using the power of words to XXX