It started on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. I was speaking with a friend on the phone when I noticed that it had started to flurry outside. Soon the flurries were genuine snowflakes. I quickly wrapped up my phone conversation and stepped outside.
Snow! I felt giddy. Would we have that rarest of events–a white Christmas in Seattle? I felt hopeful.
Snow continued to fall throughout the evening and unleashed my inner child. I was unable to sleep. I played with Itty Bitty Kitty (who was more rambunctious than usual) and peered out the window as the snow fell silently. I was was filled with joyful anticipation–not for the arrival of Santa Claus but for a white Christmas and what it might promise for the new year.
We rose before daybreak to a snowy Christmas morning. Steve and I exchanged our gifts then bundled up for a walk through the neighborhood. It was still snowing lightly and the snow crunched softly beneath our feet.
The fresh snow brightened our early morning walk. Trees and bushes were flocked with the white stuff. Holiday lights looked even more festive surrounded by snow.
After a breakfast of huckleberry pancakes, we loaded up our cross-country skis and headed to the mountains–and even more snow. There was only one other vehicle at the trailhead so we had this little portion of the outdoors to ourselves.
The cold air was refreshing and the snow light and dry. We skied through a campground and along the river with views of nearby peaks. We climbed gently through the evergreens until the skiing became difficult, then we kicked off our skis and hiked up the trail to an overlook above the tumbling river below.
The hope that was sparked by the snow on Christmas Eve endured. I was grateful to be outdoors and surrounded by Mother Nature. My spirit felt light and happy.
Even now, a few days later, I still buzz with hope for the new year. Our rare white Christmas feels like an auspicious sign that we can overcome the hatred and ugliness that gripped us in 2017.
I’m ready for a better and brighter 2018, and it’s women that fuel my hope. Women took to the streets in huge numbers in January to protest the new president’s policies. Brave women stepped forward to challenge some powerful men over sexual harassment.
African American women in Alabama elected a Democrat to the US Senate–another rarity. Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American to serve in elected office. German Chancellor Angela Merkel continued to lead the European Union. And in Seattle, we elected our first female mayor in 90 years.
Women will make this world a better place.
“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu. And so it is important that we have women in the United States Senate–strong women, women who are there to help advance an agenda that is important to women.” – Elizabeth Warren