Snow greets the senses

Published 10:32 pm Thursday, January 24, 2013

The first time I ever walked out into falling snow was last winter at Chesapeake Square Sam’s Club.

We had just paid the cashier and pushed our cart toward the lady marking off receipts. A cold blast of air as the person in front exited the store gave me reason to look outside.

At age 32, that was my first naked-eye glimpse of falling snow.

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Eager to notch up a second first-ever, driving in snow, I volunteered to fetch the car.

There was such a wondrous feeling of light flakes drifting onto my shoulders and clouding my vision as I walked across the parking lot.

But Mother Nature shut the party down before the key was in the ignition. I sat there watching the windshield wipers flick away slush. The snow had lasted a few minutes, and there would be no more that season.

Last Friday, I awoke to a thin layer of snow on our deck before driving to work through North Suffolk.

In the subdivisions around Creekside Elementary, children waiting for the school bus — those whose parents waited with them — were greeted by a reporter’s request that they start a snowball fight for the camera.

Two brothers obliged and, though I prudently decided against scooping up a huge white ball and throwing it at one of them, that was my first experience of a snowball fight.

As I drove on to the office, seeing more kids outside pelting each other with snowballs and folks in driveways scraping their windshields clear, I still yearned for the experience that had narrowly eluded me in a parking lot about 12 months previous.

The sky, alas, was clear.

But I write this column feeling much more complete as a human being after driving through a flurry on Thursday morning — actually, if you ask me it was a blizzard — en route to an event in Virginia Beach.

As I gingerly steered my Taurus down Interstate 264, the flakes swirled in the air — quite literally like nothing I had ever seen before.

I hope today to make up more of my lost snow time, with more of the white stuff predicted.

No doubt, the whimsical fancy will end the first time I have to shovel our driveway, but snow, like so much else naturally occurring in this world, is a gift. To know that, you just have to never have experienced it.