Nature Wisdom

with Pat Tuholske, Naturalist

Memories of a Snow-Loving Child

My inner snow-child cringes when the mercury creeps into the sixties in winter. I have fond memories of endless snows days, sledding down ice-packed streets, tunneling into snowdrifts and sneaking off to explore the magic of the frozen forest.

Flexible Flyer sled in tow, I crunched my way on through the neighbor’s backyard to the big hill looming over the ball field. Positioning the sled just right, I would trot and hold it ready for the pounce. My heart thrilled as I plunged onto the sled. I zoomed down the slope, ice and snow diving down the front of my jacket. The cold air robbed me of breath as I picked up speed and flew over bumps. Swooping over the hard-packed surface like a hunting falcon, a wild scream always escaped my throat.

The snow-covered winters of my childhood fueled my dreams of running sled dogs in Alaska and skiing the Alps with my St. Bernard loping at my side. And just about every Christmas was white.

I miss snow.

These memories are fresh as I go out each night for one last look at the winter-enchanted sky. There is a sharpness in this crisp darkness where all things seem clear. I am struck by the profound silence. Every step crunches the frozen ground. Even my heartbeat sounds loud. I can hear my dog breathing, an owl’s wing beat, a tree limb cracking, the stars singing. The silence penetrates all things. In winter’s deep stillness you can perceive the whisperings of all possibilities.

I want snow.

Being born in winter, I feel the strength of my own inner fire burning most brightly when ice grips nature. I consider winter a source of wisdom and inspiration. A world of deep snow makes me feel grateful to be alive to witness this beauty and glory.

On snowy nights you can move more deeply into your soul and renew your spiritual journey. Turn off the lamps and light candles. Enter the silence of night. Listen carefully and you may hear the voice of your wonder child who still believes there’s magic in the world.

Winter’s splendor will embrace us for a few more weeks. Will there be lingering snow this year? Here’s to hope.

Check out Pat Tuholske’s journal “Nature as Healer” for musings on the Human-Nature relationship. Go to elementalearthcamp.com. Pat is the guide at Elemental Earthcamp “off the grid” encampment in the Missouri Ozarks. See her wild wreaths and native plant remedies at WillowRainHerbalGoods.com.