The Snowman: Pictures of Our Wintertime Pals (PHOTOS)Serge Bielanko
Behold the snowman.
Or snow-woman, as it may be.
Close your eyes and think back to those frigid days when we were so young and our gloves weren’t quite warm enough (and didn’t fit good at all!). Remember how we used to stand out in the whipping winds of winter, our eyes tearing up but our hearts beating wildly as we squatted with our friends, our brothers and sisters, and helped create something that can only be considered the finest of art.
From a small mittenful of fresh heavy snow we packed more on and rolled and patted until the snowman came alive for us right there in our backyard or out by the curb or down at the park.
Later, we laughed and flirted and acted carefree and unconcerned with our high school friends, the magic of the snowman’s creation channeled into the very act of building him itself. You could even fall in love with someone around a snowman; people have, you know?
Now, we stuff ourselves into our coats and tight ski pants and hot sweaters and head out to conjure him up with our own kids.
They follow us excitedly into the yard, a carrot stick in one little fist, maybe a spare hat in another, you with the loose game plan for how to get it started/them looking at you with full confidence and impatience galore.
We start the snowball small and tight and then we encourage them to join in, which they do, in their own rough lovable way.
We have, if we are lucky, built quite a few snowmen in our time. They have followed us across the years and down the trails we’ve chosen.
They are a part of our lives.
Because they are awesome, even if they can’t stay too long.
Tradition 1 of 21As snowman builders, we come from a long long line of proud craftspeople.
Love 2 of 21We have strong feelings for these snow people we create. We know in our heart of hearts that we must enjoy them while we can because nothing lasts forever.
Giants 3 of 21We build them up as high as we can.
Tiny Ones 4 of 21But sometimes we build them just big enough to make us smile.
No Rules 5 of 21Our imaginations can run as wild as we want them to when it comes to making our snowman. There are no rules, really. That's why it's so cool.
A Pretty Face 6 of 21Beauty, they say, is all in the eye of the beholder. And so it goes with our snowmen.
Mr. Fancy Pants 7 of 21Sometimes, the chance to be different, to create a snowman work of art, is just too much for us to ignore.
Snow Dog! 8 of 21And sometimes we are moved and inspired by a very familiar face!
Frosty The Snowman 9 of 21Not all snowmen are destined to live out their days on lawns and stuff. Some have to see the world, take in the sights.
A Quick Fix 10 of 21For people who like building snowmen, there are days when a very quick fix is all there is time for. I like small snowmen a lot. They remind us that there is ALWAYS a little time to make it happen, right?
Wherever I Can 11 of 21Building a little snowman on the front stoop of your city apartment building is just as cool as building one in some meadow or a big yard. In fact, in a way. it's even cooler.
Pictures 12 of 21When we look at an old picture of us standing with a snowman from our past, we are talking to ghosts. The good kind.
You Send Me 13 of 21Send a picture of snowman you helped build to someone on your phone or post it to your Facebook page. I guarantee people will love it. If they don't...de-friend them.
A Snowman At The Grand Canyon? 14 of 21You're damn right. Why? Because it is awesome, that's why.
City Snow 15 of 21Snow falling brings a quiet majesty to any big city. And snowmen make busy city people smile inside. That is a good thing, I think.
Night Moves 16 of 21Some people make snow couples so that their snowman or woman doesn't get lonesome. Don't be surprised if you find a snowbaby in the morning though.
Regal Warrior 17 of 21I find lonesome snowmen the best though. I think they look like regal warriors: battered and a little bit sad, but still standing.
Righteous 18 of 21A snowman all alone in a parking lot or a yard just oozes independence and strength and a certain kind of Zen, I think. He is willing to accept his fate,but he will try to make us smile until the very last moments of his life.
The Beginning of the End 19 of 21When a snowman begins to slide away, he doesn't want us to be sad, I figure. Hey, he's saying, things are warming up! Spring'll be here eventually!
The Godfather 20 of 21(GODFATHER FILM SPOILER ALERT!) Do you know that scene at the end of The Godfather when Marlon Brando tips over in his tomato garden? I see melting snowmen just like that. It is a kind of quietly glorious end to one hell of a ride.
Adios Amigo 21 of 21So, enjoy them while they last, these snowmen friends of ours. Because nothing good lasts forever. And the sun is always just around the corner waiting to shine shine shine.
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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