Saturday, October 30, 2010

Snow Witch

It was a moment of deliberation. While wiping down the kitchen table, cleaning up the whoosh of a mess from lunch and our preschool party, I glanced out the window. Eliza's shoulder bumped up against a huge ball of snow. It looked like a gigantic cinnamon roll, trailing a path of grass and leaves in its wake. Eliza was grimacing, incapable of pushing it another inch. Pretty impressive, I thought. She's gotten it that far by herself?


I watched for another sixty seconds, weighing my options. Join the girls outside? Or bask in the satisfaction of a clean kitchen?

I tossed the washcloth into the sink and grabbed my gloves.

Together, we pushed, packed and smoothed that perfect consistency of melting snow. The sun poured warm light down our backs as we stacked our icy creation. What started out as a regular 'ol snowman morphed into something much more exciting. A Snow Witch! (How often does it snow before Halloween?)


The girls found sticks for arms, we poked a witchy grin onto the face of our little lady, and Eliza conjured the idea of green hair underneath a pointy hat.


"He he he he he..." we cackled, as we sang our "Mean Old Witch" song and the girls ran circles round our new friend. They named her Alice. "Alice the Witch."

It was by far, the happiest part of my day. The afternoon dripped slowly as we molded snow and memories together. Delighted with our final creation, I stepped back to watch the girls gallop through the yard. They licked fresh handfuls of snow off their mittens, and I wondered - what if I had stayed inside? What if I had kept the blinders on?

Too often the days tick by, chock-full of tasks and get 'er dones. Too many days I muddle through feeling more Witch than Mom.

But since the retreat, I've been thinking a lot about margins - making space to live, not just survive. I'm trying to build them in, so I can increase availability, patience, and time for things I love. I need more place for spontaneity, and slowing down.

Yesterday, as the sun worked her final hours of decimation on Alice, we ran outside for one more picture. We screeched and moaned, "I'm melting.... I'm melting!" (I couldn't resist.)


Moments like this melt quickly too. They dissipate like water. If I keep scrubbing and wiping until I'm ready to play, I'll look up to find the moment gone. A missed opportunity puddling at my feet.

My friend Sarah, lives by this quote. "Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you." So true, isn't it? I've got to care less and enjoy more, make witches rather than be one, so that all those good things I'm looking for can find me.

Happy Halloween friends.

Here's to margins. And magic. And memories.


  1. That is the cutest snow witch I've ever seen! Glad you enjoyed her and your girls!

  2. I remember a whole lot of times when my dad took us kids camping while my mom stayed home to clean the house, etc. The few times she came with us she had a balst, and we had fun with her. As an adult I have often wondered if she stayed home because she needed the break from us kids, or she needed a clean house and the laundry done so badly that she was willing to miss the fun. Either way, it has made me decide to leave the dishes undone ocasionally, and take some time for fun - because that is the best way to keep me sane!

  3. Lots of wisdom... I need to follow your example... Cute witch!

  4. This witch is awesome! Can't believe it snowed (well, yes, I can). Contrast that to our Halloween on the beach. Crazy.

  5. this made me cry because ALL too often I stay inside. I do need to build in margins and really ENJOY them.

  6. Jill - it really was joyful!

    Shells - I love your insight into your own mother's experience. We understand it so much more now that we're living it, don't we? Some days I choose the clean kitchen - for sanity. I guess that's the challenge - feeling out what is right in the moment. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Elodie - I love seeing a comment from you. Love staying connected. How are those cute boys?

    LC - glad to have you reading.

    Shir - I might trade our snow for your sand!

    Anon - It's hard to feel you're doing it right all the time. I wreslte every day with decisions, how to spend my time, choosing what is best. Thanks for your honesty.

  7. I really love the way you write and the thoughts and insights that you share! I really needed to read this tonight!!


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