Ah, the first snow of the year. Such a magical moment. It was such an amazing feeling to wake up, glance out the window, and be greeted by huge, fluffy, white flakes of magical goodness. Excitement filled my body but I lay still, put my glasses on, and just stared out at the snow. When snow falls, everything feels alright. When snow falls, the world looks pure, innocent, and wonderful. When snow falls, my heart is content.

I continued downstairs to eat my breakfast and stare out the windows onto the patio, where snow was falling and desperately attempting to stick to the red brick. The Canadians laughed at my excitement, but I didn’t care. No I didn’t care at all. This was what I had been waiting for.

When my friend burst into my room and declared that it was time to frolic in the snow, I was more than ready. I tried my best to hurry up and throw on clothing, and we rushed outside. I stuck out my tongue and closed my eyes, waiting for that tiny taste of the white speck of wonder to melt inside my eager mouth.

We scraped what little snow had collected off of the picnic tables and threw it at each other in jest, running around, squealing with pleasure at each successful hit. Our hands became cold and wet, indignant about our lack of attempt to protect them against the cold by using mittens, but we didn’t care. More people appeared and joined us in our battle, excited to share in this expression of winter gaiety.

And there it was. My first snow in Canada. Joy overflowed my being, spreading from my ice cold heart to my extremities as I soaked in the pure bliss of the moment. This is where I belong.

I don’t know why I enjoy the winter so much. Maybe it’s the beauty of the snow on the trees and the clear unmarked surface of a fresh snowfall that erases the evidence of people. Maybe it’s because the cold spreads through the body and invigorates the senses, making me feel alive and full of vigor. Maybe it’s because I grew up in western Pennsylvania, where we actually got snow, and I still have fond memories of building snow forts in huge snow drifts, associating childhood happiness with the climate of my past home. Maybe at the center of my ice cold heart is a penguin waiting to explore the frigid play land.

Whatever the case, I’m happy. I can’t wait to wake up and see the ground coated in a blanket of white fluff, to join an impromptu game of patio hockey, to take longs walks in the snow and let my eyes soak in the majesty of the winter scene, to glide on ice skates across a frozen pond, to attempt to learn how to ski and embarrass myself in front of my new-found Canadian friends.

I couldn’t be happier.