Snow in love | Moment's Notice
Last updated 2/14/2019 at Noon
The play on words, “snow in love,” is one of those phrases that comes in and out of our American lexicon.
It tends to come and go with the seasons, as it refers to the way we express our amorous feelings while in a wintery environment or snowy conditions, but we do not use it much in western Washington since we do not live in snowy conditions that often.
Our recent blizzards across the Puget Sound region have changed that.
The snow has created socked-in conditions for several days, over a couple of weeks. And when you are not worried about driving from point A to point B, the snow beckons all of us, of any age, to run and play, make snow angels, hike, snowshoe or ski.
We also want to cuddle in front of the fire, make each other hot chocolate, and stay warm with games, a book, or a movie.
The chill of the air and the crunch of the snow under your feet somehow makes you feel a little more alive, a little freer. It can make you propel yourself into snow to feel enveloped by fluffy, cold pillows. What else feels like a soft snowball hitting you and breaking apart, sending powder into your mouth and on your eyelashes (especially when the person throwing the snowball is someone you love and are about to toss a snowball right back at them)?
Russian folklore captures this intensity of feeling with the story of the Snow Maiden. There are many versions of the story, but in all, the Snow Maiden, or Snegurochka, is the daughter of the immortal gods, Father Frost and Mother Spring, and she is unable to love because once she falls in love, her heart warms so much that she would melt.
As you would expect, she invariably defies her parents’ wishes and meets and falls in love with a human boy. She knows that she will die if she stays with him, but she does it anyway and dies in his arms.
There is one version where Snegurochka tells her mother that she is ready to give up everything, even her life, for the gift of love, and her mother turns her into a mortal to be capable of love.
Tchaikovsky composed for the Snow Maiden, and she appears in plays, ballets, and opera. She is a kind, courageous girl who cares for others and follows the rules until she realizes that she is giving up her opportunity to live life to its fullest by falling in love.
What resonates most from the tale is that simple, but oh-so important message that it is better to live life fully, even if only for a short time, than to hide away and just exist.
So this Valentine’s Day, enjoy this winter wonderland we have been gifted with and be sure to tell your loved ones that you are snow in love.
We don’t often get to say that, but maybe there is something about that snow that really makes you want to embrace the beauty of love and life.