Mariner must mention that he is the recipient of a pass it forward experience. His town received a foot of snow yesterday. This morning, two neighbors knocked on his front door asking if it was okay to clear his driveway. He blessed them and said, “Of course!” Otherwise mariner would have been snowed in; his two vehicles were in a garage whose doors were behind a snowdrift much deeper than a foot. Pass it forward works for everyone – passer and recipient.
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Snow seems to encourage folks to work together to regain lost functionality. Snow falls, stays still afterward and is a composition that can be moved, melted or even taken advantage of if one is a winter sports person. Flooding on the other hand wreaks terrible destruction and will not be deterred from racing through towns, cities and open countryside. Wind, too, is unstoppable; hurricanes, tornadoes and shear winds quickly vent their energy on buildings, infrastructure and even large animals – then, like flooding, escape the scene leaving havoc behind.
Certainly snow is inconvenient given how we drive on hard surfaces that accommodate ice and slush. Today, snow is notably troublesome unless one keeps sled dogs, four wheelers and motorized plows around just in case there is snow; comparatively, few people live within walking distance of grocery stores, gas stations, churches, and other destinations. Once arrived, one hopes the establishment is open for business.
Many years ago when mariner and his family moved to the farm, there was an immense snowstorm. Even the snow removal truck could not clear the road beyond the frontage. Across the road, the farm sloped down into a hollow. It was a huge pasture and had no trees; one could sled down a 30° slope for 150 yards or more, having time to really experience sledding. If one took a route to the right, the sled ride ended by rolling through a stand of cattails and sliding uncontrollably across a pond. His family, despite subzero temperatures and a brisk wind, could not resist this new adventure offered by the farm. Everyone was, of course, dressed to look like Charlie Brown and after a handful of trips down the hill, retreated to the house with its large fireplace in the living room.
But it was snow that provided that memorable experience. Pouring rain, flooding and tornadoes deny positive experiences. Perhaps snow’s benevolence is why it is a major symbol for the winter holiday season and why Santa stays jolly even at the North Pole. Snow brings out the passing forward in us.