Now that winter is upon us, the outdoors here in Duluth is ‘wall-to-wall’ snow. Although I moved here from Phoenix Arizona, which only saw the occasional flurry, I was born in upstate New York and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, so I spent many a winter in snow territory before I came to Duluth nearly three years ago. But the other day I got to thinking, how would I describe snow to someone who has never ever seen it or who can’t see it? As someone who is legally blind, I sometimes use my other senses to get the information my eyes can’t provide for me. So, while I can see snow, this is what my other senses and my imagination told me: Snow on the rooftops of houses looks like frosting on gingerbread houses would taste.
The texture of piles of snow sometimes looks like what cotton would feel. Heavy snow feels like cold, wet sand, which you can use to sculpt what you imagine. If I walk through heavy, hard-packed snow, it feels like foam cushioning under my feet.
Light snow looks and feels like cold powder. Sun shining on snow makes it look like diamonds or glitter of all different colors. Light snow being blown by a wind looks and feels like mint mist.
Walking through hard snow sounds like walking on glass or tiny pebbles. When the sky is thick with gray snow clouds, it looks like a veil set on top of creation on earth. Snow stuck to tree branches looks like the feeling of lace against my skin.
Light snow looks and feels like cold powder.
Snowfalls sound like surprises. They don’t make any noise coming down, so when you see them or feel them, it’s a surprise every time.
Sister Mary Carla
Sister Mary Carla Flood, OSB is a Minnesota state-licensed Master level social worker. She holds a BA in psychology and MSW both from Arizona State University. She moved to Duluth in 2007 from Phoenix while discerning with the Duluth Benedictines. She is originally from upstate New York, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, moving to Phoenix with her family in 1984 shortly before starting high school. She has diversified ministry experience. See all of Sister Mary Carla’s posts.