Do you see what I see?

Our world has been a snow-filled winter wonderland for the past week. Everywhere you look the views are incredible. Normal sounds of life are muted while the light is dazzling on new fallen snow. Everything looks clean and bright.

As a kid, I couldn’t wait for it to snow. Snowfall meant the chance that normal life stopped. School was cancelled, parents stayed home from work, no sports, no homework, no plans. The street was blocked up at the top and became a sledding hill. Flattened cardboard boxes and old inner-tubes were almost as fast as the store-bought sleds. Snow angels and snowmen appeared in front yards. Snow forts and stock-piled snowballs gave rise to legendary snowball fights. Magical.

There is another side to the snowfall. Seattle has a reputation for a different form of precipitation, and no one here seems to know what to do when it snows. Even with the first glimpse of a snowflake on Friday, the stores were emptied of milk, bread and bottled water. Businesses and schools closed at noon and the cars, trucks and buses filled the congested streets for hours like local spawning salmon navigating the waterways towards home.

I wondered what prompted such action among so many people. It seems that snowfall is both beautiful and terrifying. Inducing awe and fear. Truthfully, reality is probably somewhere in the middle.

We need to plan ahead and be prepared for difficult things like winter storms. Food, security, warmth, shelter: these are all crucial to survival. So are laughter, spontaneous play, and unexpected family time. A fun blog post titled “10 surprising health benefits of snow” is insightful.

We can’t do anything about it anyway, so we should figure out a way to bundle up, relax and enjoy the break.

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