Snow Sunday: Valentine Snow

Snow Sunday: Valentine Snow


Powder Date

It’s easy to dismiss Valentine’s Day. It falls quickly on the heels of Christmas and at quick glance, can be misjudged as another holiday masquerading as a day about love when really it’s a day about buying things. And with the commercials, it’s easy to forget that our love for our spouses and friends is not determined by what they buy for us. Most of us, after all, didn’t fall in love because someone bought us a diamond ring or took us out to dinner. Those things might have been gravy, but our real love, our lasting love came quite simply out of time with that person.

It only seems natural that Valentine’s Day should be less about the things we can afford to buy each other and more about how much time we can give each other. Indeed, a quick poll of friends revealed similar desires. While some admitted to appreciating little things like flowers and chocolate for Valentine’s Day, everyone wanted more time with their spouses. A day at the hot springs. A road trip to Vegas. Skiing on the mountain together. A walk outside.

Likewise, Andy and I have discovered that we would much rather spend money on a babysitter so that we can ski together than on objects for each other. Objects, after a while, break down. Diamonds fall out of their settings. Down jackets lose their loft. Technology is replaced by newer and better technology the following season. But a day powder skiing in the snow that fell this weekend? Those memories last longer than the snow.

One of the most magical things about powder is the way it makes everything feel light. As a skier, you feel light moving through powder. But the lightness transcends the dips and rises in the trail. The lightness of powder turns us into our lighter selves. Floating through snow floats us back to childhood, where troubles, if they worried us, didn’t worry us for long. We didn’t think much beyond one moment at a time. Instead, our lives were a bit like a day on the mountain: we skied one run at a time.

That lightness of snow affects our relationships as well. Snow has a way of superseding everything in “real life.” It’s hard to argue about money or children, housework or time, when our mouths are choked with snow. And most importantly, when we play together, we remember why we are together in the first place: we love time together. That play transcends our time on the hill. Indeed it lingers far past the apres-ski ales we drink, lingers long after the sun has set. When the stresses march back into our lives, when we grow angry at each other, those days on the hill stack upon each like bags of sand lined up against the flood, making everything easier and lighter.

The first of February has already brought us an amazing amount of snow. Let the snow keep falling, for Valentine’s Day and beyond. Snow guarantees us time together, and time is the best gift we can give each other.

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