A Present Moment in the Snow by Hannah Gorman

I love snow. Growing up, I would play for hours in the snowdrifts that covered my yard in New Hampshire.  Snowball fights, forts, sledding, snowshoeing: I couldn’t get enough of the fluffy white powder that formed a soft blanket over everything in sight.  Simply sitting in my snow fort, listening to how the walls of snow muffled the surrounding sounds was mesmerizing.  I would come in after hours of playing, dripping wet and sniffling, only to drink a cup of hot chocolate and then venture back into the great outdoors.

This past semester during finals period I had been cooped up in the library, writing page after page of papers and projects.  I often found myself distracted and wrapped up in my thoughts of deadlines and final grades—the only things standing between me and a peaceful winter break at home with my family.  During that final week, it was the snow that brought me back to the present moment.  As I watched the flakes falling quickly from the sky outside my window and covering the ground below, I was immediately transported back to my own backyard in New Hampshire.  I couldn’t resist the chance to enjoy it.  As I walked home from the library, I took the longest way possible.  I caught snowflakes on my tongue and took every unplowed route I could find.  I stood in a pile of snow outside my dorm for what felt like an eternity, just to watch the snowflakes land on my shoulders and outstretched hands. As I breathed in, I felt the cold winter air filling my lungs, then rushing out in a white cloud of steam as I breathed out.

When I returned to the cozy warmth of my room, I worked calmly and productively, with a new focus and appreciating more fully every moment.  Every so often I take a deep breath and remember the experience of standing in the snow.  Even when I can’t be outside enjoying the snow, I take that refreshing feeling with me everywhere I go.