This week I did something I have never done before. The act made me feel a little guilty, slightly scared and very childish, but it did make me laugh my head off.
We had experience a significant dusting of snow in Portadown at the weekend. Not so much that we were forced to abandon cars at the side of the road and seek shelter in the nearest department store but enough for the kids to make snowmen and for the council to regret not buying enough grit for the roads.
I have to admit when I see snow I get quite giddy. My brother and I have an on-going competition about who has the most snow (let’s be honest me and my brother have competitions about everything – this is just an additional one involving snow. Other brotherly competitions include ‘Best Round of Golf’, ‘Biggest Tv’, ‘Laziest Day at Work’ and my personal favourite ‘Latest Gadget’). Because he lives in Edinburgh he more often than not beats me on the snow front. How am I supposed to compete with tales of his work grounding to a halt to head out and have a big 2 day snowball fight? This is no ordinary fight – my brother having been trained by Her Majesty’s Forces feels the need to employ special tactics – namely filling his van with dozens of snowballs and driving round the site while his partner hangs out the side door lobbing snow grenades at fellow conflict colleagues.
I hear a lot of mumbling and moaning about the bad weather (a lot of it I must add from the wife) but I think you have to just learn to embrace it. Don your woolly jumpers, hats, scarves and gloves – find an untouched plot of freshly fallen snow and just fall into its heavenly arms and make the best snow angel you’ve ever made. When was the last time you made a snowman? I’m telling you that you don’t need kids to make a snowman. Let the inner child out. Throw a snowball at a loved one – nothing says I love you more at this season than a tightly packed ball of snow on the head!
Here’s another thing that as an adult you can do. Now before I divulge what took place on Monday I want to stress that although my inner child was released it was still very much under the adult supervision of my subconscious. Also that the opportunity that opened up for me may never happen for you. You could wait a lifetime for such the chance. For me, on Monday morning, the planets aligned and a small window into another world was opened for the briefest time. I was fortunate enough to see it and stupid enough to leap towards it.
When driving home on Monday morning from having dropped off my son at nursery, for unknown reasons I took a longer road home. I was meandering through the now white streets, enjoying with all my senses the beautiful winter scene, when out of the corner of my eye I passed a sight so wonderful that I was forced to stop and reverse the car to see if my eyes had indeed been playing tricks on me (like the snow version of the oasis mirage in the desert). Between the terraced houses lay before me a foreign world so magical a tear formed in the corner of my eye. It was an empty car park, untouched be foot or car. I couldn’t have been more excited if I’d discovered the door to Narnia itself.
What followed was ten minutes of pure unadulterated man-fun. By the time I had finished, this unspoilt land was well and truly... spoilt!