Thursday, January 12, 2017

When It Snows, Go Sledding

Sometimes I just want to act like a kid again. A lot of those times are when it snows.

When it first snowed in Chicago this season, I happened to be teaching Sunday school at church in the city. A 5-year-old exclaimed mid-lesson and pointed out the window, drawing everyone's attention to the first snowflakes outside.

"Can I build a snowman after church??" the little boy asked excitedly, although the snowflakes were barely hitting the pavement before melting into the sidewalk.

There's something about that kind of childhood joy, where one notices the little things, that we sometimes forget. I sometimes forget too. Until it snows.

When it snows, I want to pull on my boots and go traipsing through the fields to make the first tracks.

When it snows, I forget about the cold and the wet, and just fall into the white canvas to make snow-angels.

When it snows, I beg my friends to go out and play, although some of them cringe at the cold.

When it snows, those same friends oblige and smile, knowingly, right alongside me, because they know how happy the snow makes me.

And today, on this day when the snow was just starting to melt at temperatures above freezing, a friend of mine came all the way from Olomouc by train (a two hour trip!) to come visit, go sledding, and subsequently drink tea and catch up after the year I've been away from Czech.

With the thick wet snow and that warm winter breeze that comes at about 34 degree weather, we sat on top of the hill and talked for a while before trying our best to get the sleds going, despite the density of the snow. It had been about 6 years since I had last gone sledding, and about 10 since my friend had. We beamed like little kids when our sleds finally took off down the hill.

I hope to go sledding with friends, with siblings, with kids in children's min, with my nephew, and with lots of others in the future. So if you have a hill with snow on it, no matter what your age, find a buddy, a sled, and a little childlike wonder. Sledding is always bound to be wrapped up with laughter and cold memories that will quickly become the warmest kind you'll have from the winter.


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