Snowflake, snowboard, snowman, snow shovel, snow boot, snowstorm, snowsuit, snowplow, snow ski, snowfall, snow drift, snowmobile, snow angel, snow fight, snow fort, snow sprite, snow shower, snow squall, snow, snow, snow ball.
The past two days, as I was out walking, and because we now have so much snow, I decided to pick some up. Why not? I have been missing it. Now that we have it, why not interact with it? Many others have done so . . . with the variety of snowmen (with their hats and their carrot noses and scarves, coal buttons, eyes and noses) that stand or lean on the lawns and in the yards of these houses I pass.
The weather is on the warm side (high 30s), so the snow is heavy, sticky, and when one picks it up, it easily forms into a solid ball. As I walked, I tossed it back and forth between my hands, and it became denser, denser. I ran my gloves over the surface, shaping it, and it became smoother, icier, more perfectly rounded. I carried it all the way home and kept working it, throwing it, hard, into one hand, then the other. Very satisfying, picturing baseball players with the balls and mitts.
It had some destructive potential, I thought. If I threw it at close range at a window, perhaps the window would break. If I threw it at a person--into the stomach or the face, it would hurt. I felt that I was carrying a weapon, and what it would feel like to carry a weapon--a sense of power, of being able to defend myself if need be.
As I remember it, there were three boys who did this, but the only one I remember clearly was named Kenny. He was stout and red-haired and covered with freckles, prone to blushing, and his last name, which I will not repeat here for the sake of anonymity, probably caused some people to make fun of him. The reason, I believe, that he is the only one I remember is what happened next. One snowy day, when I could no longer tolerate the situation, I made my own snowball, and slowed down to let the boys come close, and when they passed, with an energy and force that seemed beyond my control, I slammed the snowball into the nearest boy, who turned out to be Kenny, and because I had my eyes closed (fear, I think), I did not have much sense of aim, and the hard snowball went right into the side of his head. I can still see the snow in his red, fleshy ear.