Before you pull out the snow shovel, read on. The byways I follow on my way to the running track in my town of Montclair are chockablock with all kinds of fascinating items. On one recent ramble, I came across a little sign that said “THINK SNOW,” a little spontaneous word prompt which led me to do exactly that. Here are a few ideas that cropped up for me while ambling along:
• “Snow day” — two of a kid’s favorite words
• Snowbound with Betsy — one of my beloved sister Judy’s favorite books
• Snow: A kiss from the sky.
• Snow: Silence falling
• Romping in the snow with my dogs Watson and Ryder
• Snow globes and a poem about on by Billy Collins
• How many words do Eskimos have for snow? (Read on!)
Later, I happened across some more snow-related references:
• “Blue shadows on white snow” — from the film, “Private Lives” by Noel Coward
• “Each snow-laden tree and bush looked like a bride kneeling to pray…” — from Mama’s Way by Thyra Ferre Bjorn
• “The storm was over and the great clouds had disburdened their snow…” — from The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson.
According to current research, one Eskimo language has more than 53 different terms for snow, including “matsaaruti,” for wet snow that can be used to ice a sleigh’s runners, and “pukak,” for the crystalline powder snow that looks like salt. The Sami people, who live in the northern regions of Scandinavia and Russia, use at least 180 words related to snow and ice.What a rich store of words and images to tap into!
Not only are word-association games tons of fun, they can also be a great way
to enrich our descriptive powers as we all write on!