This winter’s weather has left most adults scratching their heads. Each nice snow fall seems to be followed by melting temperatures above freezing. And each time surprising warm temperatures and rain moisten all surfaces and leave puddles scattered across the winter landscape, sub zero temperatures turn our yards and paths into slippery and bitter cold obstacle courses. And then our rivers flood as warm rains break ice up and flow down stream. What could possibly be next?
The children I work with, on the other hand, seem to revel in these unusual and exciting swings in weather. Our playground has transformed multiple times, offering an endless array of playful activities that change just as we grow accustomed to the one before. Hands and feet that grow tired dragging friends around the fields over a light cover of snow are used to build dams and re-direct streams of melt water. Sticks that make tracks in the snow turn into ice picks, working away at the thick layer of ice that covers the ground over night. Walking from the door to the playground becomes a slippery adventure. Of course, falling is funny when you’re only four feet tall!
It seems we should prepare for a lifetime of erratic weather. My advice to all the adults out there: don’t forget the magic and excitement of the surprises that mother nature (with the help of climate change) throws our way. Invest in clothing that will keep you comfortable in all types of weather. Do you have microspikes or yaktrax yet? They’ll keep you from slipping no matter how icy it is. Be safe, but don’t forget to find new and exciting ways to have fun!
Jump in the snow, slide on the ice, take a magical walk on that misty rainy morning. Too rainy or below zero outside? Complete that indoor project you’ve been meaning to do for the past year. Not enough snow to ski? Maybe there’s a flooded field to skate on. Sledding down an icy yard can be even more fun than sledding down a snowy one. And if all else fails, it’s always nice to fill your house with the savory aromas of a delicious soup or the sweet steam of a cup of rich hot chocolate. Happy Winter 2014!