In our  free range child-rearing realm of West Woodbury, Vermont, sliding off the roof season has officially commenced. Last night, I heard my 11-year-old muttering to herself as she sized up her snow roof-raking endeavor. One more good snowfall should do it. She’s been accumulating a pile of snow to slid into from the low-ish roof.

This morning, we woke up to steadily falling flakes, and by this afternoon she and the neighbor boy were crafting a slide on the sugarhouse roof. While I did chores in the blue haze of winter twilight, I listened to the two kids shouting and laughing, and well beyond dark they were busy with winter’s bounty, bright-cheeked, merry, happy. Rain in the forecast – enjoy, children!

… Around the glistening wonder (of a snowstorm) bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, –
A universe of sky and snow!

– John Greenleaf Whittier, from “Snow-Bound”


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