Narnia My Backyard. Watercolor. 9″x12″
As the world outside my windows begins, ever so slowly, to be veiled in white, a sense of anticipation and longing fills the hours. Everyday tasks take on a not-so-everyday glow. A trip to the grocery store becomes an adventure. Laundry becomes lighthearted. Cooking simmers with unprecedented warmth…chili, cornbread, rice krispy treats. I waken early the next day to sigh out my windows–the hushed beauty of white beckoning me to walk in it. And as I walk, a word that pops into my head every time we have snow here in these parts, shows up as bright as the snowy landscape: MAGIC.
It is indeed *magic*, for me, every time it snows. I feel like a kid again. The predictable view out my windows is now transformed into something other worldly. Kids are out of school, and I, as a teacher, have a day off. Walking where I have walked so many days and years before seems like a whole new landscape, a different country even, a fresh clean world. Even if the white raiment is a bit see-through in spots, it still evokes magical lands like Narnia and Norway. My own childhood land of Boone, NC is recalled with great sentimentality. My memories only serve to heighten the *magic*.
I have, for many years, wondered what it would be like to be able to do my art full time: 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. To paint, draw, knit, crochet, write and illustrate children’s books, design knit & crochet patterns, sell paintings, etc. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have so much time spent doing what I love dearly? Wouldn’t it be, quite literally, *magic*?
Folks up north of here are likely NOT thinking *magic* when they look outside their windows. It is quite possible that for many of them, snow is a four letter word. When they look out their windows at yet another fresh snowfall, their Narnia has indeed become a winter that is never Christmas. They see more mounds of snow shoveling, more traffic problems to evade on the way to work, more worries about how to heat their home or whether the roof might fall in. I imagine they grow sick and tired of bundling up every time they just want to step outside their door. Concerns such as these, and many others I’m sure, bring different words to mind when they see snow. Instead of *magic*, it may be *burden*, *weary*, *sick*, or *tired*.
I myself, remember winters growing up where we had so many snow days in a row (6 weeks to 3 months worth out of school sometimes) that we actually wanted to go back to school! Still having to do our homework (since they gave it to us over the local radio station), plus all the snow chores (shoveling the driveway, bringing in wood for the wood stove), and having to get along with our siblings, did indeed become a burden, even though memory has a way of pushing all that to the back shelf. Too much of a good thing is…well…too much!
Walking in the
*magic* snow this morning, it struck me that perhaps this is why I still feel the *magic* when I paint or draw, knit or crochet. Maybe it is precisely because I am not able to do this full-time that it remains magical in my life. After all these years of making things in and around a full life as wife, mother, and teacher, I still sense that *magic* when I sit down to draw lines or knit a few rows. I wonder, if I did this full-time, if it would lose some of the *magic* just by the sheer volume of it. Perhaps (just perhaps:) it would all become wearying or tiresome if I spent hours and hours every day doing these things. I wonder. Someday, I’d like the opportunity to test it out.
But for now, I will revel in the moments here and there that I’m able to create. I’ll even rejoice in the anticipation and longing for time to create. I’ll be grateful for the *magic* of drawing, knitting, and snow. I’ll smile at myself when I complain that I don’t have nearly enough of it! And when it does snow here in Kernersville, North Carolina, I’ll receive that as a day to create all day if I’d like…a whole entire day of *MAGIC*!