Thursday, February 20, 2014
Since forever Chips has been waiting,in great anticipation,for snow.
November came and he was certain it would snow but it didn't. Then December came and Chips knew for a fact that it would snow...it had said so on the news and it was obviously Christmas time and we all know it snows at Santa time....he waited and waited but it didn't snow. January came and by now Chips was getting a bit desperate,he still was hopeful though as it was now winter and it always snows at winter time...January came and went....without snow,plenty of rain but no snow. This was getting Chips down. Where was the snow?! It just wasn't on!
And then one day at the beginning of February it started to snow.
It was about ten o'clock. I was at work,listening to the readers,when all of a sudden someone spotted snow falling past the classroom window.
Well you would not believe the pandemonium this caused! As the word of snow spread around the room the children were whipped into a frenzy. They all stood gazing out of the window,watching the snow fall. And even better still it was playtime and the decision was made to let the children play in the snow. They were beside themselves!
And it happened to be my playground duty.
So that was why I ended up in the play area supervising thirty,six year olds. It was magical.
The children were all bundled up,zips done,hats,scarfs and gloves on. And they were buzzing,ready to get out in the snow.
Once we got out in the play area,that was it,there were children,movement and noise everywhere. Exited shouts of
"Let's make a snowball"
"I'm making a snowman"
"Can I make a snow angel?"
echoed around and as I looked at the play area not a single child was stood still. Lots of the children had their hands raised up in the air trying to catch the snow and at least 95% had their tongues out as they tried to catch the snow on their tongues.
Some children were scrapping any snow they could find together and then holding it in their hands and gazing at it. Even the smallest bit of snow caused great excitement and big grins.
The snow began to settle on the childrens coats and in their hair. One little girl had the most pretty snowflake fall on her coat,it looked just like a star,a pretty little sequin star but it was a real snowflake,so perfectly formed. Magic.
For a moment I stood still and took in the scene,the magic of falling snow.
How it falls so softly,transforming everything it touches and making even the ordinary item beautiful.
How it makes you want to run and spin and lie down in it.
How it makes you try to catch it...with hands held out,reaching for that elusive snowflake that melts as soon as you touch it.
How it brings out a desire to catch a snowflake on your tongue. I mean,seriously,why do we want to do that?!And yet we do. Especially children.
So if it's so magical,why do us grown ups nearly combust at the mention of snow?I know some grown ups like snow but in general most people I talk to do not want any snow. Infact just as the children were filled with excitement at seeing the snow,the adults around them were mainly filled with dismay.How were they going to get home if it settled,please,please don't let it settle. Have we got enough milk and bread?Where are the wellies? Its cold and wet,get me out of here!
We see it as a inconvenience,it causes chaos to our routine and in this busy life we have no time for chaos,life is chaotic on a good day when everything is running to schedule,throw in snow and bang our whole routine crumbles and gives us yet more stress and none of us need any more stress added to our daily dose of real life. We have things to do,places to be,no time to play or even stop for a moment,we are on task,following routines,trying desperately to keep all the balls in the air at the same time,the mad juggling of life that comes along with being a grown up and especially a grown up with a family. Snow makes us stop. Sometimes it makes 'everything' stop. Pretty powerful stuff this snow...if it can make this world stop it's hectic busy culture...even if it's only for a short time. And once it has stopped the world from its busyness it does something else too,it encourages grown ups to play,not many things have the power to do that these days. Same as I just said...powerful stuff this snow.
On this occasion the snow did not settle,infact as quickly as it came it then disappeared,much to the adults joy and the children's despair.
So the ten minute playtime that was so joyfully embraced was,maybe,the only chance that the children were going to get to play in snow this year. Iam glad that I saw it.
Over in the junior school the children were not allowed out to play in the snow. It was wet play for them. The closest they got to the snow was to stand at the windows and watch it fall. Well some children,not many,couldn't resist the lure of the falling snow and they snuck outside and held out their hands to catch snowflakes. They got in big trouble when the teacher found out,my young un,the little boy who had waited so desperately for snow,was one of those children. I think the magic of touching snow outweighed the telling off he got. And although I did say to him that he shouldn't disregard what teachers told him,I could understand the reasons he did it and I did smile about it.
I'll finish with a comment from a little boy who was allowed to play in the snow,he said to me....
"If you look up to the sky when it's snowing you feel just as if you are flying"
Magical stuff that there snow.