The Price We Pay

Two days ago I decided to clean the snow on the sidewalk in front of our house. The snow was so thick it would be enough to make a big snowman this year. I’ve never really tried to make a snowman before. Either the snow in the past years was little to non-existence, or I was simply too lazy to go out in the cold.

But this year the long-awaited snow is finally here, my daughter is very excited about the snow (she has always been), and even my summer son is eager to go out and play. I thought why don’t I try, why don’t I make memories?

After almost two hours of shoveling the snow, gathering, squeezing, pressing, and shaping together with my daughter, finally the snowman was finished! We were very happy to put a hat and scarf on him. It ended up a very cute snowman, and everyone who walks through our house would stop and comment (and we would giggle and smile inside the house).

One thing I learn in making this snowman is it’s definitely not as easy as it seems in the movie! Nothing close to easy! It was really hard work, literally a work that required your muscles and the flexibility of your joints! By the time I finished the work, I was so tired and sore I almost couldn’t walk from squatting too long, I sweated inside my thick clothes and I smelled like a cow. Easy? Fun? Huh?

But it was definitely worth it. If the snow comes like this only every 10 years, this is the only time my kids enjoy a big snowman while they are kids! This is the only chance to make memories of snow with my daughter. These are the only pictures with the snowman in their childhood time.

The next day I went out to take a walk late in the afternoon. The sun had almost set and it was very cold, but I was so bored of walking inside my house to reach my daily goal so I told my kids to eat alone and mama went outside for a walk.

I went my usual route, but last evening, nothing looked usual because of the snow! It was very breathtaking, the whole white plan spreaded out before me. And when the night went down, it gave a special kind of magic you saw in the Hallmark movies.

My faithful Huawei definitely couldn’t record the striking beauty I saw… but it was definitely the most beautiful winter I’ve ever seen with my own eyes in this whole life.

Now, what’s so beautiful about winter you might ask?

Winter is indeed beautiful. You can easily see the stunning pictures shared on Instagram or Facebook. You can easily Google the images. But enjoying the beauty of winter in flesh is something new for me.

I grew up pretty much confined at home since I got sick so easily. It shaped me into a complete homebody. If it’s not necessary I would prefer to stay at home, outdoor outing is just not my thing. It took me a great effort to change this since I live in The Netherlands, looking how people here go daily outside whatever the weather, just to do a “frisse neus halen”. And when I observed how my inactive lifestyle had affected my children’s growth – how they had very different upbringing compared with the Dutch children and they received less positive remarks from school because of that, I forced myself to bring them out more and eventually I started to enjoy being outside too.

But walking outside has not been a daily practice for me. And walking outside in the winter is out of the question. Especially with thick snow! So it is indeed extraordinary for me because I had to force myself to do it, and as a reward I got to see the glimpse of Heaven’s glory.

Beautiful things are easily seen in the media, but to experience them it takes a price to pay. Sometimes the price is so small and insignificant. Sometimes it takes more labour and work to see the result. Nevertheless at the very least, I try.

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