If you don’t like the weather in Illinois…

…wait 10 minutes.  No sooner than the proverbial ink on my post excoriating the weather had dried, the first real snowfall of the season comes.

Taking a walk in snow engages so many senses.  When it’s falling, you can hear the steady patter of snow flakes hitting the ground- that’s my favorite white noise (no pun intended).  Watching it drift though the sky verges on hypnotic; it’s really the only weather sight I’d describe as beautiful.  Hearing, seeing, and feeling it fall is the most calming sensation I can imagine.

Of course, freshly-fallen snow is the sequitur to the above.  The crunch crunch crunch of your footsteps in a quiet spot is so satisfying. I think it fulfills some deep-seated need for attention.  After a good crunching, I immediately look at my footsteps and see how far I can jump, which isn’t very far when wearing longjohns and bluejeans.  Then I notice the sparkle- a lustre that seems to come from nowhere.  By daylight, it can be blinding.  But at night, the light from the houses gives it an elusive shimmer.

What might be the most interesting thing about snow (at least in these parts) is the effect it has on people.  They may hate to drive in it, but it’s a rare person who doesn’t sit and stare at it for a bit, or go out and play (something they might rarely do otherwise).  My guess is that for this region, the ephemeral and rather rare appearance of snow gives it an importance other folks don’t understand.

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