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I grew up in Central New York, although I’ve lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line for nearly 20 years. As a child, snowfall rarely closed school. Here in the South, the rumor of an errant snowflake will cripple the state for a week.

As a northerner, I like to chuckle at the local reactions to frozen precipitation. As a southerner, I’m always happy to see the sunshine again and go from 30 degrees to 75 degrees in the space of one day.

Regardless of my age or low tolerance for the cold, I still love to see it snow. The child inside still gets excited; peeks out the window every 10 minutes; follows the weather reports with great anticipation; and looks forward to opening my eyes in the morning and sensing, by the brightness of the morning light, that it did indeed snow overnight.

The stodgy adult inside feels disappointment when the pristine blanket is marred by a shoeprint; grows curiously sad when melting begins; and feels a faint hope, as long as a patch, here and there, escapes the reach of the unforgiving sun.

It struck me that everything in nature strives for life; hopes for permanence; holds on to existence; the snow, no less than the sparrow; the morning light, no less than myself. What was once pristine is surely marred, but hope will endure, as long as I continue to find patches sheltered from the sun.

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