Whenever it starts to snow my first thought is always, “but will it stick?” It’s the same initial thought I have had since I was a kid, when the merest whisper of snowfall would send me outside like a Calvin and Hobbes strip in keen expectation of an imminent school closure and the possibility of tobogganing.
And isn’t that a wonderful and rarely used word. Tobogganing. It almost shouldn’t exist at all, and the more you say it, chained together like boxcars, the more your sense of reality begins to slip and peel away.
It’s a not a word I would have used in kid world, since we went “sledging” with whatever human sized piece of construction surplus we could lay our hands on, including piling seven or eight us into a large plastic sheet and plunging suicidally down the nearest hill in what our parents would later call, as they signed us out of Accident and Emergency, “a bloody stupid idea.”
These days the question, “but will it stick?” has expanded to include more practical workaday considerations, such as possible travel disruption, and whether I should brush off the car before the snow freezes to save myself an unhappy job in the morning, and isn’t that just a little bit tragic.
Lockdown has brought many unwelcome privations into our days, along with the relentless barrage of insipid online meetings that somehow exhaust me before they have even started. But for me at least it has also removed the need to commute into work, which means that the snow can fall as it may and my large plastic snow shovel will remain locked in the shed. The overly bright windows of my snowlit office is a joy today, as is the laughter of passing children dragging their sledge towards the big slope on the other side of the village for a round of tobogganing.