It hasn’t snowed in weeks.
I live at the edge of the West Desert in Utah. Snow is our primary form of precipitation. What accumulates in the mountains during winter is what we have to see us through the dry, hot summers. No snow also means that there is no relief from the thick layer of inversion that has settled over the valley. Inversion means colder temperatures, and smoggy, polluted air to dampen spirits and irritate allergies until a storm clears it all away. Basically, no snow is no good for Utah.
I’ve never been a fan of snow.
I grew up in Houston, meaning I didn’t grow up in a winter wonderland. In fact, before moving to Utah I had seen snow only 2 or 3 times in my life. Upon learning the reality of the cold, wet, slippery of the substance, I quickly lost interest in the stuff. Despite my personal dislike of cold, my fear of driving on slick roadways, and my annoyance at shoveling driveways– I still understood it’s important roll in the Utah climate, and even it’s roll in the economy.
Just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Snow is the perfect example of an age-old fact; just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s worthless. There are plenty of things that we personally hate, but serve an important roll. Most of us learn this early on in life, but still find ourselves wishing that spiders didn’t exist, or summers weren’t so hot, or rules were never invented etc. However, if we really thought about the reality of our current world without that thing we hate, what would actually happen?
I got what I thought I wanted.
I got to see a dry Utah winter, and the reality sucks. My skin is dry and cracking, despite all the lotions, ointments, and salves I rub into it. My eyes are swollen, and nose bleeding from all the dry, polluted air I’ve been breathing. My fingers and toes have been perpetually cold from the bitter air, and the lack of vitamin D and clean sunlight has spun me into full-blown, seasonal depression driven, hibernation.
I’m wishing for snow.
For the first time in over a decade, I find myself truly wishing for snow. I want to see a sky blinding white with clouds and flakes. I want to see drifts on the ground, covering cars and burying us all in a heavy blanket. I want to have to dig out my front door, and trudge my way to the garden gate to get groceries. I will gladly shovel my driveway, crawl down icy roadways, and suffer the cold to have a little relief from this dry, inversion nightmare. The only good thing I can say about this winter is that it has reminded me that what we want isn’t always what we need, and I need to learn to love (or at least understand) the role that snow plays.