Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thoughts after the season’s first snowfall December 4, 2011

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The snowy woods adjoining my backyard in Faribault late Sunday morning following about a five-inch snowfall.

WELCOME TO MY BACKYARD after the first significant snowfall in Faribault this season.

It is a world of mostly black-and-white, like vintage photos in an album.

Branches laden with the first significant snowfall.

I’m trying to be poetic here because, as disloyal Minnesotan as this sounds, I don’t particularly like snow. I dread the resulting icy sidewalks and parking lots.

I realize I possess the attitude of  “an old person” here. No offense meant to any of you who are older than me. But, at age 55 and with an artificial hip implanted in my right side three years ago, snow and ice threaten me. I fear falling, so I inch across ice with trepidation.

Just to clarify, my hip replacement did not result from a fall. I suffered from osteoarthritis and reached the point where surgery was the only option to deal with near immobility and chronic pain.

So here we are, in the season of snow and ice in Minnesota. If I don’t exactly embrace it, now at least you understand why. I suspect it is the reason many Minnesotans flee to Arizona and Florida during the winter months—not only to escape the cold, but to escape the danger.

Yet, even I can see the beauty in a fresh snowfall that layers branches and seed heads and the entire world around me in a surreal sort of peacefulness on a Sunday morning.

That, for me, redeems winter.

The blessing of winter lies in its beauty, seen here in a snippet of time-worn fencing in my backyard.

An unobtrusive patch of color in a mostly black-and-white world Sunday morning: Snow capping a hydrangea.

HOW DO YOU feel about snow and winter in general? The truth, please.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling