Friday, February 3, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Snow Dance!

by Peggy Robin

On Wednesday, February 1, the DC area got the first measurable snowfall of the winter -- and it was the fifth latest on record, according to the Washington Post:, which used as one of its prime measuring points the snowfall at the National Zoo -- 0.4 inches.
Not even enough for a delayed start to the school day. No snow days at all for the kids so far this year. How disappointed they must be. I know when my own kids -- now well into adulthood -- were of school age, they would follow the forecast like mini-meteorologists, excited at the prospect of "wintry mix" in the evening rush, and positively rapturous at the thought of waking to a "winter wonderland" in the morning.
Still, hanging on to the hope of snow was never enough for them. They wanted to make it happen. And they really believed they had the means to do it. That is THE SNOW DANCE! Here's what they did: First, they put on their pajamas inside out and back to front. Then they jumped around and yelled "Snow Day, Snow Day!" till their voices got hoarse or until I made them go to bed. (They didn't know that all the while, I was following my own little ritual and superstitious jinx that I hoped would cancel out their "Snow Day" magic, and let it be a school day, after all.)
The inside-out & backwards pajamas dance is just one of many such rituals learned from peers as part of the folklore of childhood. Here's a website listing seven such charms to bring on the snow:
While children all over the parts of the US where snow is even a faint possibility will employ many of these time-honored rituals, no one ever prays for a bone-chilling but dry cold snap, do they?. All that gets you is frozen pipes, dead batteries, and sky-high heating bills. Is there a ritual we adults can perform to make the temperature rise to a comfortable level? Sure there is! But it involves buying plane tickets, packing a bag, getting on a flight headed for the tropics, and stepping off the jetway in a place where it never, ever snows! And unlike a snow dance, this ritual always works -- if you can afford it and have the time to spare, that is! 
Of course, if you grew up loving snow and never stopped wishing for snow in the wintertime, you can use the plane-trip trick just as easily to fly off to someplace that 's always skiing weather, too.
And now for the finish....that is the FINNISH way of bringing on the snow, You do the "Heikki Lunta Snowdance." Never heard of it? Youtube has many versions of the song; here's a very bouncy version in English: 
Hope it works....if that's what you really want!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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