I hate cold weather, and winter is my least-favorite season. I hate the way the wind whips through my hair, freezing my fingertips, ears, and nose, and it drives me crazy that I have to stay mostly inside for months on end. But, despite all that, I really like the first day or two of snow. I love to watch the snowflakes float and dance on their way down from the heavens. That's one of my favorite things about snow: it seldom just falls straight to the ground. It's forever twisting and twirling through the air, dancing sideways on the breeze. Even once it's on the ground, it drifts, moving like waves over the ground, seldom still or static.
I love the perfect, untouched expanse of ground covered with a blanket of snow before anyone makes footprints or tire tracks across it. I adore watching the marks appearing on it, showing all the inhabitants of the area, whether squirrels and rabbits or humans and vehicles. I love the side-by-side footprints where children have walked with parents and friends have trudged at one another's side.
A few days later, I know the snow will have melted away or, worse, been shoveled and plowed into big gray mounds of slush in parking lots and along roadsides. The joy and beauty will disappear, as fragile and temporary as it is beautiful. But today, while the snow performs its ballet outside my window, in this warm-climate place where it is rarely seen at all, I am thankful for the bits of frosty lace that grace my vision.