It wasn’t someone who faced overwhelming barriers, like those who live in countries huddled along the equator. Or someone who has been in prison for the past 25 years. It was someone who could have, but hasn’t.
I tried to wrap my mind around that idea.
I tried to imagine my childhood without snow. Without the crunch under my feet in the early mornings. Without sledding down the hill in front of our house. Never floating over it on a snowboard. Never standing with my arms out and catching snowflakes on my tongue. No snow tunnels or snow forts or snowmen. Never having snowball fights and or feeling the cold wet of it down my neck as someone pushed my face into it.
I envisioned the ground around my house forever dry, the grass and shrubs never hidden under white layers.
I tried to think about never making snow ice cream with my sister, one of our early culinary adventures. I remembered the dusty sweet taste of it. Without snow, it would be just sugar and food coloring.
I considered never hunting for a Christmas tree, hopping from one of my dad’s Sorel-shaped tracks to the next. Never sashaying with my sister on cross country skies over hills on forest service roads. No riding my horse bareback through powder as her hooves kicked up clouds of it.
I tried to imagine my childhood in a place with no snow. Without stomping my feet in it at recess to beat out the cold. The doors of our cars never freezing shut. Never having to scrape a windshield. No shoveling a sidewalk or digging out of a ditch.
I thought about never tracking mini heaps of it across the carpet only to step in them later in my socked-feet after they melted. Never feeling the spin of a car on ice.
I realized I would have never gotten frostbite on a frozen walk to school. I wouldn’t have had to put my feet in lukewarm water the sink in the elementary school bathroom, and watch them shift from white to pink to red.
I imagined a place with daily temperatures of 75 where the sun sets over the crest of waves and sand never goes away. I wondered if I would trade in snow for that persistent and reliable comfort.
And I realized the answer was no.