Freshly fallen snow puts a blanket of white over the landscape. It can look almost magical. Icicles hanging from the trees and buildings add to the spectacle. The sun doesn’t shine brighter but the reflection off of the white makes it seem that way. Snowmen, sledding, eating snow, snow angels, snowball fights and forts are all possible. It almost makes the world look as though it is brand new. Unfortunately, none of that lasts for too long.
Two days after the snowfall is less picturesque. There are yellow and brown spots in the snow that are not meant for tasting. The salt from the roads has made the plowed snow look grey and ugly. Snowmen lean to one side or the other unless they’ve frozen into icemen from the frigid temperatures. The freshness and sense of renewal have devolved into a chaotic mess that is less than ideal.
We live most of our lives in the “two days after snowfall” world. It’s not ideal but reminders of more perfect times are all around us. Honestly, those times weren’t perfect either but we have nostalgia for those moments that we’ve chosen to remember. Everyone has had a moment like a wedding, championship winning season, perfect date, theatrical performance or any other memorable occasion. There’s a desire to live in those moments forever but you can’t. That pristine world does not exist for long, if it ever did. So the choices come down to lamenting the “imperfection” of most of our lives or embracing it.
Since most of life is going to be chaos with spots of urine, feces and salt strewn about, perhaps it would be better to see the beauty in those days. They are not devoid of their own glory. It just may be harder to see because there is so much variety to take in. The beauty and awe doesn’t smack you in the face! You have to work to see it. Despite that fact, the effort that is taken to endure the chaos until the next perfect moment is much greater. Seeing the world with its pock marks and still loving it is a skill that is worth developing. Otherwise you’re in a perpetual state of fourth grade where you’re hoping for a snow day, only to be disappointed by people forcing you to learn and grow! Damnit! Develop the eyes to see the daily beauty. It will make those perfect days even better!