Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.
– Sylvia Plath
Ever since I was a little girl, snow has been a magical thing to me. I know it’s just frozen water, it’s an inconvenience for workaholics and people who earn a living through building construction, and I know that it might be a little cliche to continue to believe that snowfall can mean anything more than a day stuck at home. But yet, it still has an allure. Each snowflake, for me, is like a little secret, a unique and tiny something dusting my sidewalk. I like everything about it. The way it smells just before and during a snowy day, the way the clouds look so muted in the sky, that calm grey-ness that turns to a pristine white when the snow begins to fall, these snow time moments are soothing and serene. I like the sound of silence snow makes, like the night is inflated with a still nothingness. And I like the way that I feel I should whisper when walking through freshly fallen snow as a nod of respect for its untouched perfection.
In honor of my snow day today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things to do when it snows:
Gaze out my window.
It’s dreamy outside when it snows (before it turns slushy and grey and brown), so take it in! Whether you live in a city or suburb or out in the middle of a field, snow makes the world look new, fresh, and sometimes even strange. It’s also fun to watch little ones enjoy the snow (or you could always join in).
Read something new.
I really like to stay inside (now that I am older). I like to stay warm and catch up on reading (or as is the case today, writing and job applications), but regardless here are some suggestions for books to read when you are curled up during a snow day.
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri or A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom. Both are short story collections brimming with emotion and complex family dynamics. Although you could easily read them in one sitting it might be best to take breaks to knit or heat up some more coffee on your snow day and digest all of your feelings.
- On Writing by Stephen King. You might need a little something to get your creative juices flowing and this book will do the trick, it’s also another one that you can read in one sitting if you really try. It’s one of my favorite books ever, so even if you don’t read it during a snow day, you should definitely pick it up, and it should soon become your writing bible.
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I recommend this one because when else will you have time? And also it’s a really fun book to be absorbed in. Reading the bulk of it in a shorter span of time will also help you keep the characters and their individual stories straight and a chance to carefully annotate. (a similar option: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte)
- Finally, The Secret History by Donna Tartt. If I recall correctly, this boarding school tale is creepy and filled with snowy scenes. Your snow day will provide a similar backdrop to that of the story and it’s another long one that will keep you busy all day.
Curl up with some tea.
Get some warmth in you and relax. It’s that simple.
Clean and organize.
I personally like to get things done when I have a time on my hands in the house, it’s also easier for me to relax when everything is organized. So there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place on a snow day at my house.
Watch a movie.
My advice: watch a classic movie, a psychological thriller, or a sad movie. Like all my book suggestions imply, a snow day is a great day to watch or read something challenging, raw, or emotional, because you have both the time and the privacy to really absorb and digest it. Then you can call your friends who are also stranded inside and talk about it (if you need to).
Go for a long, quiet, slow walk.
During a walk in the snow, I like to breathe everything in. This is a good time to let the snow moments wash over you and also to think about whatever you’ve spent your day doing (maybe the book(s) you read or the movie(s) you watched). The air, the ground, the icicles forming, the way my breathe looks on the air, just a wispy tendril exhaled, these are all the details that make snow a favorite experience for me, and maybe they are for you too.
What do you like to do on snow days? Be sure to share in the comments.