I’ve started to notice a creeping change among my friends. It seems to come with age, and the lack of necessity and desire to make do with less than perfect weather. The idea that there is a place somewhere to the south that will be more comfortable, warmer, sunnier, and just in general, a better place to be during our months of relative darker, colder, wetter days. One by one the couples whose company we enjoy during the boating and camping seasons give notice that they are heading to softer climes, and will see us in the spring. They call themselves “snowbirds”, I guess because they migrate south like birds, sent away by a dislike of snow.
I can understand this, especially during this past fall, which seemed to slip by unnoticed to make way for winter rather rapidly. I was caught with some of my gardening details still to complete when the weather closed in, the wind howled, it snowed, and generally gave notice that gardening was finished for this year. For a fleeting moment, I once again scolded myself for procrastinating, made a mental list of all the ways I had failed yet again, finally got done with that and remembered that I could choose to give myself a break from self-criticism. Although this is not a new idea to me, it still takes me by surprise from time to time, and in no way is an automatic reflex yet. I’m a work in progress.
With that exercise complete, I was free to enjoy the indoor activities that call to me when the weather makes the outdoors less than hospitable. Some of these tasks are left over from the spring, when gardening season started, and cupboards were yet to be cleaned, the garage was in disarray, that room never got painted, and that sewing project was half finished. So, now that there’s time to take on these forgotten duties, do I get them all done, list checked off, no procrastination here, self criticism be gone? Sometimes it works that way, but more often I cast off domestic chores in favour of my role as “snowpig”.
It’s about time we recognized the snowpigs movement. Snowpigs embrace the cold weather, sniffing the air, and saying “might be cold enough to snow on the mountain.” Of course, if we could keep the snow up in the ski areas, we might try, but even if it creeps downward once in awhile, it just reminds us of all the fun we can have in it. Snowpigs play in the snow, and sometimes roll in it. Walking in it becomes an adventure, kicking up a spray of stars, all different. Basically, we wallow in it.
Now that e-mail is practically a household necessity, we used to suffer the pictures of our friends on the beach, smiling broadly at the camera, with beverages in hand. Now we retaliate with snow laden trees, sporting Stellar Jays and Whiskey Jacks as decorations, or, better yet, us, enjoying a quick picnic on the cross country trail, blue skies, and broad smiles. Not in our bathing suits, (which are far too revealing of the results of holiday excesses), but properly attired in sleek ski suits.
So, snowpigs unite, embrace the season, and be happy as a pig in snow!
Jean Wrohan is a student of Science of Mind and a Nia instructor in Campbell River. “In movement we find health.”