The Druid's Garden

Spiritual Journeys in Tending the Land, Permaculture, Wildcrafting, and Sustainable Living

In Praise and Honor of the Snow: Understanding and Overcoming Cultural Challenges February 2, 2014

In January, this year, we’ve gotten record amounts of snow (somewhere above 50″ since the new year). This is true of much of the midwest and eastern seaboard in the USA.  Snow holds a very convoluted position in modern American society. At least half of us live in areas that receive at a decent amount of snowfall per year, year after year. With the increase of weather events relating to climate change, more and more extreme weather events are occurring, and snowstorms are not the exception. In recent years, it has been my perception that as the extreme weather events are increasing, so is the weeping, gnashing of teeth, and hatred towards the snow.  But it is not the snow to blame, but rather our underlying cultural issues that are exacerbated and intensified by the snow; we have a number of deep-rooted problems in society that are manifested by the appearance of snow. I am breaking these cultural issues into to two categories–issues we, as individuals, can more easily change and things that are more difficult to change but are still serious problems.  After the discussion of these areas, I conclude with some insights and reverence for the snow.

The White Wonderland

The White Wonderland

 

 

Underlying Cultural Problems Manifested by the Snow: Things We Can More Easily Change

The following four areas represent cultural issues, and responses, that I think are fairly easy for us as individuals living within this culture to change.  These changes do take some work, but they are still very much within our own power to change.

 

 

1. Negative framing of snow by national media (Underlying cultural problems = negative news, disconnection from natural cycles).

We have a substantially negative framing of snow by our news and weather media.  For the snowstorms we’ve had the pleasure of receiving in the last month, I saw everything from “Life Threatening Snow” to “Winter Fury Unleashed” to “Ion Bears Down on US” as ways to discuss the snow. These negative discussions take away from the otherwise beautiful, yet powerful, winter scenes and immediately frame it as a negative event that has to be dealt with rather than a natural occurrence. Beautiful scenes of snow aren’t portrayed on our local or national news–no, we hear about the 30-car pile ups and the difficulties people have with the snow.

 

The second thing that I think is going on with negative framing of the snow is that as humans, we are disconnected from the natural cycles.  Snow is an integral part of most climates; trees like the Black Birch and Maple need the cold before their sap can begin to run.  Because of this lack of understanding of the cycles of nature and the negative framing, we don’t take time to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the snow.

 

Of course, with snow being framed in such terms nationally, its no wonder that individuals feel nothing but negativity towards the snow. Facebook feeds, twitter feeds, and other social media, combined with in-person weeping and gnashing of teeth, all frame snow in a negative light. Its a nuisance, its a bother, it causes work, it delays plans.  And that is certainly one way of looking at it–but not the only way!

 

 

 

My response: Positive Framing of Snow.

My response to the negative framing of snow, the weeping and gnashing of teeth, is simple–I don’t participate in the negative framing of snow. Snow is a natural part of the seasonal cycle, and something to be celebrated in the same way that we celebrate a warm summer day. I work hard to revere the snow, to recognize its artistry and beauty, and to help others do the same.  Are there times that a snowstorm messes up some plans I’ve had? Sure.  Does that mean its the snowstorm’s fault?  No.  What it means is that I get to make new plans, to stay home, and to enjoy the winter.  I can celebrate the solitude and quietude that the snow brings; revel in its incredible beauty, and remember the lessons it has to teach.  I also remember that snow is but part of the cycle of the seasons, and that soon enough, spring will return.

Through the Branches

Through the Branches

 

 

 

2. State-of-Fear Reactions in Society (Underlying cultural problems = state of fear hype, fragility of current system). 

One of the big shifts that occurred in America following the September 11th tragedy is that our leadership and mass media work hard to keep people in a constant state of fear.  Everything is something to react to, to be afraid, and to panic about. Why? Its simple–people are easier to control when they are reacting and feeling, rather than approaching something using reason and their minds. This is why Aristotle, when speaking of the three primary ways that persuasion happens, suggested that pathos (or emotional-based appeals) were the most effective, but also the most dangerous.  A reactionary populace is not a thinking populace.   Snow, unfortunately, has become caught up in this state-of-fear mentality.

 

Furthermore, the media has made the move to name winter snowstorms and other large weather events.  This personifies the storm, gives it human qualities and motives, and makes the personified storm’s actions more severe.  Snowstorm “Ion” is somehow much more nasty than “that snowstorm coming tomorrow.”

 

Can snow cause problems and can it be dangerous? Absolutely, especially with the mass stupidity which which people treat snow (more under “transportation” below).  We know snow is coming, its a natural occurrence. If one is carefully prepared, there is no reason to get upset or frightened.  The underlying problem is not that we get a snowstorm, its that people are now so unprepared to have a snowstorm, it causes fear.

 

My Response: Careful Preparation and Building Resiliency

I look forward to the snowy times, but I only do this because I’ve worked to be well prepared for the winter months and to plan ahead.  With a stock of wood to heat my house in the event of a power outage, a good relationship with a neighbor who has a plow, a stock of herbs and tinctures in case I fall ill, adequate winter clothing that I could wear to stay warm for hours outside in the snow, and the potential to call others in case of any difficulty, I’m not so concerned when the snow begins to fall.

Snowy scene of pond

Snowy scene of pond

 

 

 

3. Frantic Supermarket Chaos before Snowstorms (Underlying cultural problems = no food security, complete dependency on corporations for basic needs).

Hype about any given snowstorm is first built up to a frenzied state using the “state of fear” tactics I describe above.  This encourages people to go out and spend more money than the otherwise would on massive amounts of food and other “supplies.”  Supermarket shelves are stripped bare, and people take their stuff back to their houses and hope for the best.  If we recognize that fueling consumptive activity is the primary goal of all media, it becomes no surprise that this is what occurs. However, there is a deeper issue at play, and that issue is food insecurity. 

 

In this region of the world, when winter came, individuals, families, tribes, and communities had substantial stores–they spent the bulk of the spring, summer, and fall, growing, foraging, raising, or otherwise producing enough food to get them through the winter months.  I think about the caches that Buffalo Bird Woman discusses in Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden, or the extensive pantry and larder that Laura Ingalls Wilder discusses at her family’s homestead.  In The Resilient Gardener, Carol Deppe describes the Hopi’s rule of growing and storing enough corn for two seasons, not one, to ensure survivability in case of crop failure. Having a store of food through the winter time, with access to what one needs, is one definition of “food security.”

 

Right now, most Americans react to the snowstorm in what I’d call a reasonable manner, given their food-insecure circumstances.  Most Americans have only 1 or 2 weeks of available food in their houses at any given time, and literally no skills or ability to produce their own food.  Part of this is that many now live on convenience foods, rather than staples like dried beans, or rice, and there is only so much room in one’s freezer.  So when they rush off to the grocery store, they are reacting due to their food insecure circumstances (which seems ironic, in a country that wastes up to 40% of its food).

 

 

My response: Increasing Food Security.

My solution has been to be more food secure and to work to produce as much of my food as I can, to store my food effectively, and to be prepared for when snowstorms happen.  With 150 lbs of rice; 100 lbs of various beans, nuts, and other dry goods; 300+ jars of sauce, jams, preserves, jellies; and a freezerful of fresh pressed apple cider, meats, and other goodies, I’m not worried when the snowstorms come.  I could get snowed in here for two months or more and still be eating healthily and with variety.  If producing your own food isn’t possible, at least moving toward a pantry/bulk food buying system where one has more than a week of groceries in the house at any given time would help with food security issues.

All white!

All white!

 

 

 

4.  The Work of Snow (underlying cultural problem = sedentary lifestyles). 

When a snowstorm hits, there is, of course, the complaints about shoveling the walks, cleaning off the car, and so forth.  I believe a lot of this is rooted in our culture’s largely sedentary lifestyle, where people aren’t used to a lot of physical labor, and shoveling a foot of snow is certainly physical labor. I realize here that some people have health conditions that prevent them from doing the labor–and to them, I suggest to make friends with a neighbor (this is another underlying cultural challenge–we don’t actually know our neighbors).

 

My response: Snow = Free Exercise.

Since I derive all of my physical activity from either being in nature (hiking, kayaking) or productive work (like double-digging beds, putting in a chicken fence, chopping wood, hoeing the garden, raking leaves, etc.) I am happy when the snow comes down.  Why? It gives me a chance to get out, get some exercise, and move around a bit.  I look forward to shoveling that long pathway to the chicken coop, and throughout the year, I work hard to keep myself in shape so that I can do that work.  I don’t have to pay for expensive gym memberships–I can just shovel snow!

Snowy maple guardian

Snowy maple guardian

 

 

Underlying Cultural Problems Manifested by the Snow: Things We Cannot Easily Change

The last set of cultural problems that are manifested through the snowstorm are not things that we can easily or readily change, but issues that are very much impacting our cultural responses to snow.

 

1. Lost wages & Job issues (Underlying cultural problems = erosion of the middle class; living hand-to-mouth; income disparity). 

A snowstorm,  like the ones we’ve experienced here in Michigan for the last month, means one or two days where no pay is coming in, where a lost paycheck can mean the difference between paying the rent and not paying the rent. This is actually probably the biggest concern for a lot of people, especially those working hourly-wage based jobs or several jobs to make ends meet.  Several days of lost paychecks can hit a family very hard, and again, the easiest culprit to blame is the snowstorm out one’s window.

 

However, I want to point out that issues of personal economic security have nothing to do with the snow itself–it has more to do with the fact that we have so many people working low-wage jobs in poor conditions and struggling to make ends meet.  This whole situation has more to do with the erosion of the middle class and corporate greed than it has to do with a snowstorm.

 

 

My response: Shifting lifestyles, Reducing Consumption and Debt, and Doing Meaningful Work.

This is not an easy, or quick, thing to respond to.  The prevailing cultural and economic winds have made times tougher and tougher for everyone I know, myself included. However, a series of life changes have caused me to deeply reflect on my own relationship to finances, working to track my funds and reduce my consumption, and creating a plan for getting out of debt. One of the books I’m reading now is a book called Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin; in this book, she suggests that we should align our values with meaningful work, examine our true hourly wage, and examine the relationship of time and money (too much to discuss here, but worth reading).

 

 

2. Difficulty in transportation, dangerous conditions (Underlying cultural problems = lack of care for employees, unnecessary travel)

The last issue that snow often raises is the transportation issue. The roads get covered in snow or ice, flights get delayed or cancelled, and travel is, generally, dangerous and frustrating. For some people, they have to travel because of their jobs (see #1 above) and have little choice if they are going to keep their jobs. For others, they are planning on some travel and that travel is delayed.  I’m thankful, at least, that schools have it right–they don’t ask teachers or students to go out in bad weather, and I only wish that the rest of the nation would do the same.

 

 

My response: Shift Plans, Stay in if Possible

I often wonder how much travel is actually necessary during a snowstorm.  I think that people try to treat snow like any other day–driving to go get gas, to the grocery store, to keep those dinner plans, etc.  But we can’t treat snow like another occurrence–its a special time, a time that asks us to slow down, to reflect, to enjoy the quietude of the winter time.

 

People in other centuries holed up for a good snowstorm.  Winter was a time of rest and reflection–you see this in the holidays in the druid tradition, based on the wheel of the year–we rest, we recuperate, we rejuvenate, we heal.  When there is snow, I make a point to change my plans, to stay in, and to accept the gift that nature is giving me–a day off.  Even if its an unplanned day off, its a message from the universe to slow down.

White Pine, the Tree of Peace

White Pine, the Tree of Peace

Winter as a Sacred Time of Healing and Rest

To conclude this post, I’d like to ask us to untangle snow from its cultural baggage, to take some time to enjoy it for what it is, and to embrace the cold and snowy times as times of rest and reflection. Our ancestors did this–they saw winter as a time of rest, a time to enjoy the fruits of their hard labors of the summer months.  Warm in their houses, they enjoyed fruit preserves, family, music, and quietude.  This is part of the natural cycle of the seasons, an important part of rest–for ourselves, for the land, for the trees, for all.

 

We have no such sacred times of rest in current American culture unless we create those times for ourselves.  The snow provides us the gentle nudge to do that–to see the world in wonder, blanked and far from its usual state.  To go out into a white wonderland, full of bliss and joy.  To take time for ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

 

It took me a long time to write this post–I started when the snows started coming down over a month ago, but it was only today that I finally figured out what I wanted to say.    I hope that this causes you, dear readers, some pause for reflection and perhaps helps you see the snow in a new light.  I feel like I’ve been called to be an ambassador for the snow, speaking the snow’s message of hope and renewal.As part of the message of the snow for me this year, I will be taking a hiatus from the web/social media for the next few weeks.  I hope you go enjoy the snows!  That’s what I plan on doing in the next few weeks :).

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29 Responses to “In Praise and Honor of the Snow: Understanding and Overcoming Cultural Challenges”

  1. ken Says:

    Good article with a contrarian view.. I think you are spot on with preparation and acceptance message.

    A couple of thoughts though. 1) before the modern era, the Winter, in northern Europe and the frontier of America was a time of endurance and survival when just one miscalculation or run of bad luck would kill you. It was a time to hunker down and just make it through. 2) they don’t call the pagan afterlife the ‘Summerlands’ for nothing.. lol

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Very true about the survival, Ken. Thanks for the comment! I think this is why the sense of community was so strong, and why we need much stronger communities in our present culture. I’ll again turn to Laura Ingalls Wilder for evidence of what you are saying–during the “big snows” (I can’t remember what book that was) the trains couldn’t get through, and the family was literally going to starve. They were on the last of their meat, last of their potatoes, etc. So Pa went over and found Almonzo’s false wall, and got his seed wheat, and used that to feed the family. But also in that story is when the town pulls together, everyone says here’s what I have, and they shared and made it through to the spring. I think that we don’t have strong communities now because we don’t need each other like we used to. But this extreme weather has certainly brought out the neighborliness around here, and that’s encouraging. Good food for thought.

  2. alainafae Says:

    Beautiful post, thank you! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been confused and frustrated by the exaggeratedly negative responses to winter conditions, especially here in Michigan and northern states in general. Your post has echoed my own thoughts on how winter ought still be a time of rest and reflection rather than doggedly slogging forward as our “corporate masters”, as some call them, demand day after day, week after week.

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Thank you for your comment, Alainafae! I think that’s at the root of it–the clash between the “business as usual” corporate model that demands you be there when they say, and the reality of what’s happening in the weather, our lives, etc. I just had to dig into this, because I was trying to understand these reactions to snow for so long. And as soon as I really started listening, I understood it better!

  3. Thank you for such an awesome post! I’m living out in Seattle now, where we rarely get more than a light dusting of snow — but for most of my life I lived in Pennsylvania, where a few snowstorms each winter was the norm. I completely agree with your advice about preparation and re-framing snow as an invitation to slow down, rest and reconnect! YES! (And if you have young kids, it’s also a wonderful reminder of how exciting and fun it can be, if you know how to be safe and seek out that joy. :) I really appreciate how you connect our struggles with snowstorms to underlying cultural issues. I think many of the same things could be said about various weather conditions throughout the year (like summer heat waves, f’ex, which can also leave people unprepared). As climate change results in more and more extreme weather conditions, I think it’s going to be all the more important to understand these connections between cultural attitudes and natural events. Awesome post!

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Thanks for your feedback! I think you are right–it seems that we are always looking for a scapegoat, an easy thing to complain about or to blame. Weather’s a good one–weather doesn’t fight back, it just happens. :P

  4. jmlibby Says:

    Reblogged this on jmlibby and commented:
    This post is truly amazing. It certainly is thought-provoking and insightful. Thank you.

  5. Rylin Mariel Says:

    Thanks for a truly insightful post about snow – you have delved deeply indeed into the kinds of attitudes that cause people to turn on the aggravation switch when the snow comes. I remember when I was a child, we lived in Florida, and snow was something we never saw there. My innately Northern nature (being of combined Celtic/Nordic ancestry) was just deeply affronted by that fact: whenever we would even get a frost I would get very excited! When we went up to the Carolinas for the Holidays I was always thrilled if it snowed while we were there! When I was thirteen, we moved back to Virginia, and I was overjoyed whenever it snowed. Adults would often tell me “You love it now, but when you’re an adult, you won’t love it so much, when you have to go to work!” That shift never happened, actually, and whenever I had a snow day, I just cherished that, and would take the opportunity to go for long walks and reflect on all sorts of things as I walked, while also enjoying the transformed landscape. My favorite of such days were the ones where it would snow all day, and I would meet very few other people, so that I was walking in a hushed kind of snow bubble, it seemed. These were some of the most magical moments of my life!

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Rylin, thanks for commenting! Like you, I’ve never lost my “wonder” about the snow. The snow aggravation is particularly strong this year, perhaps stronger than I’ve seen it in a long time. So I guess the few of us who are snow ambassadors have to keep the cause going!

  6. Karen Fisher Says:

    Thanks, I enjoyed this post. I think snow and ice are very beautiful and I actually feel sorry for people who never get to see them. Your points about the media and the corporate world are very well taken, although I used to drive to work through all kinds of snowy conditions–it just took longer. Everyone expected that. It was quite an eye-opener to hear that although this January in Pennsylvania was brutally cold, it didn’t even make the top 5 coldest Januaries on record. We’ve had milder winters, and people have started to think that’s normal–thus when real winter comes, people are underprepared.

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Karen – such a great point you raise! It only seems colder because our last 15 years of winters have been so much warmer than on average. I just read an article from some climate scientists discussing the “poor climate memory” that a lot of people have today!

      • CWhitmore Says:

        I am not very old, but as a child, I remember we got feet of snow almost every winter. This would have been 15-20 years ago. I remember my father having to wade through knee deep snow at times and I even made an “igloo” once. I think people have just forgotten (we aren’t known for our long memory here, in the good ol’ U S of A in any case), but this year does seem at the very least, particularly cold. I would be interested in reading that article, if you happen to recall where you read it from.

  7. Dean Easton Says:

    I love the idea of being a “snow ambassador” which you demonstrate well in this post. As several others have pointed out, we start as children responding instinctively to the beauty and natural wonder of winter and snow. Any other attitude has to be caught and learned from others around us. With more posts like yours, the other snow ambassadors will come inside from frolicking in the drifts and echo your sentiments. There are more of us than you might think!

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Yeah! Frolic in the drifts! I did my imbolc ritual yesterday out in my pond (it was the only space that had less than a foot of snow outside). It was so much fun–to make this giant labyrinth in the center of the pond, to lay in the center of it, make snow angels….good times. None of that beautiful ritual would be possible without the snow!

  8. Briel Says:

    So beautiful sister. Thank you so much for writing taking the time and energy to write this. It was a perfect read for me as work was closed and I got an unexpected day off today, which I am very thankful for. I will be sharing this blog with students, clients and friends. Much love.

  9. CWhitmore Says:

    This was very thought provoking and I think the message is very good.

  10. Danny Hocken Says:

    About snow: I live in the Southeast where it doesn’t snow that often but it did recently and I was happy at first. I liked watching the snow, watching the children play in the snow, and I also live at an apartment community where I know my neighbors so we would talk about the snow and other things. I see my father once a week for lunch and the next day, my father couldn’t make it and because of my PTSD this was hard for me because I need to see him once a week to keep myself feeling secure. I honor Winter though, Yule and Imbolg, and it was Yule at the time. I honor that Yule is a time for resting and hibernation, and yes I have learned from you: reflection. I reflected a lot. But I can tell that my agitation with the snow that next day when the ice was on the roads had to do with TV news I once would watch. I had given up on TV but still it was affecting me. They always make out snow to be a disaster or almost an evil of nature when it is nothing of the sort. I had enough food to last a day or two. I am on benefits and my father acts as my accountant and I get 1/4 of my monthly money once a week. I don’t want to blame the snow and ice on the delays in my cash flow and grocery shopping. I believe if I lived up north I would prepare much more. For the most part, the snow was fun. I had a good day even the day after. I was just so angry I couldn’t see my father that week. I got angry with ice, not snow, but like I said, this was probably because of TV news on snowstorms I’ve viewed before in the past. Now, I just look up the weather on the web and avoid the opinions and commentary of the news corporations. I loved your article. Your article is very thoughtful, well written, full of wisdom, and inspiring. Your article reminds me of a poem I wrote entitled Near Imbolg which is about the cycle of the year, nothing ending, has a part about the robins no longer singing but then the snow is here! I too appreciate the snow. I was just looking forward to seeing my father so much that I got angry. But that experience reminded me of how important my father is to me and about how much I love him and need him. The snow and ice helped me to reflect and to grow as a person.

    • Danny Hocken Says:

      What I mean about TV news having caused my anger with the ice: TV news on snow and ice caused me to feel that snow and ice is wrong and shouldn’t be that way. TV news influenced me to be disagreeable with nature. Your post helped me to see this and I can change this about myself. I like walking especially slow when there’s ice and I don’t drive a car but if I did, I wouldn’t drive anywhere and just rest and reflect. About people who lose work days, thankfully employers aren’t so cruel to fire people who can’t make it to work, but people should prepare more and the TV news doesn’t ever have any short documentaries about this possibility. A feel-good story about someone who does prepare for the snow and ice, but not an extremist, would be brilliant!

      • Willowcrow Says:

        Yes, I totally know what you mean! I think about my own shifts away from consumer culture, and I realize how deep some of those things are embedded into our consciousness, and how if we expose ourselves to those things, we don’t realize how much they impact our thinking. It is certainly shocking to me!

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Danny, I’m glad to hear how the snow and ice has helped you grow as a person! I’d be very interested in hearing your poem!

  11. John Adams Says:

    Thanks Dana, a thoughtful piece. I would add “warehouse style employment” in the labor category. The warehouses around here hire 99% through temp agencies. I know people who do this – people are called in work on a day-by-day basis. If someone doesn’t show up for work for more than one day, they’ll probably get a call that they aren’t needed there anymore. A snow storm can cost them the job they spent 5 months finding. Of course there are other issues in play.

    Our infrastructure revolves around cheap oil. The pics and stories from the Atlanta storm were crazy, and overnight gridlocked roads were just a reflection of how delicate the current system is.

    Down here we haven’t had any really big snows (12+), but there’s 6-8 inches on the ground today with two more storms coming in this week. It was been the coldest in 20 years @ -10f (-27F in 1994).

    • Willowcrow Says:

      John,
      Thanks for the comment. Yes, I hadn’t thought about the “warehouse employment” thing–I’ve been working on a post about that and the cost to human liberty. It might even be finished in the next month.

      Your point about fossil fuel dependence is well taken–the only reason we can even attempt to keep doing “business as usual” during a snowstorm is because the fossil fuels make snow removal from roads, driveways, etc, much easier. We’d all hole up if we didn’t have the snow blowers, plows, etc.

      Glad to hear you are holding up well–enjoy the storms! :)

  12. I grew up in the countryside in eastern Oregon, and we regularly got heavy snows in the winter (though in the past 20 years that has lessened . . . climate change), as well as ice storms, power outages, the whole 9 yards – and I enjoyed winter as a child, I found the snow and ice beautiful, and the changes in the landscape were magical. As an adult, however, I have primarily lived in urban settings, and a few years ago, while living in Boston, I realized that part of the reason I had started hating winter weather was because, in the city, I couldn’t enjoy the land laid out, covered with snow, in the same way I could in landscapes with few houses or other development. It became just a horrible obstacle, slushy or icy sidewalks (thanks to people who don’t shovel), delayed transportation in ways that never bothered me living in the country, etc. About the only thing I did enjoy about snow in Boston was shoveling. And the winter skies; Boston has the prettiest skies in winter.

    So getting back to your points, I think this larger disconnect from nature is definitely there, it certainly was for me – when you’re surrounded by more human-made stuff than natural elements, it IS harder to see weather as part of the system you’re living in, and to appreciate the scale of it, and to adapt urban lifestyles to actually live WITH the natural systems they are still a part of. It’s kind of mind blowing that even in cities that routinely get major winter storms, those adaptations don’t exist much, beyond some cities declaring “snow emergencies” and telling people to leave work early, or just stay home. (I’m living in the Pacific Northwest now; a 5-minute snow flurry is cause for great excitement in the office, because of the novelty.)

    Of course the news media gets off on framing things as Exciting and Terrible!! because that gets viewers, so they won’t be turning around any time soon and raving about how beautiful the snow-covered cities really are. :\

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Fjothr,

      This is such a good point about urban living! I lived in an urban environment only for two years, and it nearly crushed my soul, and I attempted to block it from my mind. I didn’t really consider how the city life would be impacted by snow.

      Here, I look out my window and enjoy the scene. But as you say, the scene in a big city is not nearly the same. I think the city makes it easy to forget the natural systems, as you say, and to recognize that snow is a necessary part of that system.

      I wonder how we might encourage even those in the urban environment to better recognize the cycles of the year, etc.

  13. […] Dana Driscoll recently published an excellent and timely post contemplating the ways in which snow and our negative reactions to it d…. […]

  14. greycatsidhe Says:

    Oh you’ve hit the nail on the head and I agree so much! I definitely will not downplay the seriousness of the weather we’ve had, and I completely understand how difficult it is at times, but it’s part of our seasonal cycle and I prefer to live with it, work with it, learn from it, and celebrate it! This winter has definitely driven home the point that I need to be better prepared, though!

    • Willowcrow Says:

      Thanks for the comment, Greycatsidhe! I agree–I feel fairly prepared here, but the power outages we’ve had this winter and severe ice storms have had me realize the gaps in my plan (water from a well, for example, doesn’t work without electricity!) So its a learning and growing experience always :)

  15. […] when they would rather point fingers in ‘blame’ at the turn of the seasons than confront the unsustainable practices the cycles of the Earth expose.. the examples go on and […]


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