Walking through this morning's six inches of fresh (and falling) powder, I was reminded once again of the main reason why I, flying in the face of my 25+ years of SoCal residency, have come to so dearly love the Wyoming winters.
I've never heard anything so quiet.
For someone who was O-for-Snow during their childhood and the first decade or so of their adult life, the extraordinary muffling of a mid-winter snowfall had to be experienced to be believed. Once it had happened, though, I knew I was hooked. The audible hustle-and-bustle of everyday life -- even life in a small town such as mine -- is so omnipresent that it becomes hard to hear. But it's there none the less, rumbling along just below my consciousness; a never-ending soundtrack that I can't escape.
And then the snow comes, and the entire world whispers "Hush." There's nothing quite like it.
Walking through the silencing snow -- my boots barely crunching through the crust that lies just beneath the surface -- brings with it a peace and a calmness that prepares me for the struggles of the office (or helps to strip me of those struggles as I return home to my family). It slows my racing mind (and sometimes, heart). And it makes me listen instead of hear.
It's the reason that Winter is fast becoming my favorite season.
Admittedly, the frozen beard's a big draw; but that's mostly because the boys think it's cool. A few nights ago, mere moments after the door had closed behind me, Sean was breathlessly breaking the news: "Papa! Your hair has turned white!"
Don't worry, Sean. That'll happen soon enough. In the meantime, a bit of Wintery Peace to keep the noisy world at bay.