I used to be a teacher so snow days were happy days because I got to spend them with my children. Usually, we’d get bundled up in all the gear, then sled or ski or play in the wide expanse of the Vermont outdoors. Then I’d bake muffins while they did art projects and we’d have hot chocolate by the wood stove. Kind of idyllic.
Today was another snow day in Vermont. My daughter and I didn’t sled or ski or do anything more outside than some shoveling, bringing wood in from the barn and dumping mounds of snow off the cars. We did our own things and some things together. Idyllic still.
Then I climbed the hill out back and took pictures of the Scottish Highland Cattle my friend owns. There is only one bull among them. The rest are female. I watch them from my window each day, moving back and forth across the field. This breed comes from rugged and remote terrain. They adapted to harsh conditions and can thrive in cold, wind, and rocky, jagged land. They are hardcore and self-sufficient. Most breeds of cattle don’t have females with horns, so the ones on this land are unusual–docile, but intimidating. Tough.
I thought about the cultivation of toughness. These bad-asses adapted because of their ancestors. My ancestors are from Sicily. Doesn’t that make me bad-ass too? I mean, I’m from Brooklyn, but I can trek in knee-deep snow to the barn, get wood for the stove and build a fire. I’ve adapted too.
A snow day is just the kind of day to think about this stuff.
And a day to remember art projects and hot chocolate.