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Taking note: Falling snow

The tiny, wet snowflakes were melting almost as soon as they hit the grass, which still green, but dotted with fallen leaves.

But the flakes seemed to gain some traction as the ground chilled, forming a nearly transparent layer of lacy, slushy snow upon the grass.

The sidewalks and streets were still warm enough to melt the flakes upon impact, leaving a wet, glossy sheen on the pavement.

However, the flakes upon the grass were forming the type of snowy layer that makes a neat, satisfying little crunch when you walk on it.

It was the kind of snow that attaches fully to your boots and leaves a footprint-shaped area of green grass. A snow-cone-type of snow, like pure white shaved ice, finely sprinkled and spread over areas of grass and dirt.

There’s nothing quite like that first snow of the season, even though it’s always hard to believe your eyes when it finally arrives, no matter how much you expect it.

And I’ll admit, I’m not necessarily passionate about winter as a whole, the long, cold and dark months.

But that first snow can be magical.

It can feel like a delightful novelty after months of warm weather, green grass and sunny days.

That first snow can bring up giddy childhood memories of sledding, snowballs and snow days. It can also inspire hopes, dreams and plans for the coming winter.

It can encourage you to bring out your favorite sweater, dig out those winter boots, find a book to curl up with.

So I’m trying to use this initial excitement about the first snow to remind myself of what I look forward to about the winter months.

The first sip of coffee or tea on a bitterly cold winter day, the way it can warm you from the inside out.

Digging out your sled or skis and taking an exhilarating ride through the snow. The way it can leave you breathless and chilled to the bone, yet exhilarated and fulfilled, just like a summer dip in Lake Superior.

Then there’s the strange joy of blizzards that hit when you have nowhere to go, nowhere to be, no plans; the safety and peace of curling up with a good book indoors while the winds howl and the snow piles up.

Because for me, there’s nothing quite like reading to get through the long cold months.

The fall has already inspired me to pick up the pace of my reading. But the coming winter seems to increase the urgency of having a good book available.

I’ve found myself making mental notes of untouched books around my house that I plan to read this winter. I’ve been placing holds on numerous library books. I’ve been browsing suggested reading lists for more ideas.

All of this in hopes that I’ll never find myself without something to read this winter, that I’ll always have a good book to turn to when it’s cold and dark.

Because it’s amazing how reading can transport you and transform you when you focus on the pages, the story, the meaning of a book.

A good book can often act as a healing salve for the soul, especially in moments of boredom, confusion, loneliness, and even grief and pain.

And as we approach this winter, a winter unknown, unprecedented, unmapped, we need to seek out as many little good things as we can.

We need to remember we still can find love and joy and hope, even if only inside of ourselves.

We need to remember that we can still have good and beautiful moments, even if they aren’t what we hoped, planned or expected.

So remember, please take care of yourself. Seek things that bring you joy, even if only for a moment here and there. Because life is made up of little moments. They can’t all be good or perfect. But we can try to make them better, bit by bit.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cecilia Brown is city editor at The Mining Journal. She lives in Marquette and can be found hiking if the weather’s nice, or curled up with a book if not. Contact her at cbrown@miningjournal.net.

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