Thoughts on Snow Forts

snow fort

As much as I appreciate snow, I am grateful for the fact that Mother Nature has not blessed us with winter as of yet. While the weather in London has been quite agreeable so far (actually, much better than usual), it is worth noting that with the arrival of ‘the white stuff’ comes the inevitable construction of snow forts by overexcited children in puffy snowsuits.

I remember a time when I would always run outside during recess with my friends to start making forts. At first, it seemed like such an innocent, harmless activity that occupied most of the lunch hour. I was very much mistaken.

After the recent snowfalls in London, I started thinking about the things that I used to do in the winter. I miss having snowball fights in my backyard, tobogganing down the large hill beside St. Joseph’s Hospital, and skiing at Boler Mountain (it’s not that glamourous, I promise you). Most of all, I miss gossiping with my elementary school classmates behind white, icy walls that bordered the school fence. Making forts was an activity that I looked forward to every winter. The thought of actually building the fort, combined with the opportunity to spend time with friends, made me giddy with excitement.

Along with the construction of the fort came the appointment of a leadership team. Naturally, the leader was someone who yelled the loudest and was the most successful at getting other kids to listen to him/her. The leader of the fort would then appoint several ‘deputies’ to help oversee operations. With many forts gracing the school’s vast playground, there was bound to be conflict between different groups of students.

Now that I’m in university, I often look back and laugh at myself for participating in such childish endeavours. Why did I ever think that stealing another fort’s snowballs or icicles was so important? Why was I so willing to defend my fort from being ‘invaded’? I thought I was silly for being involved in such activities. But in reality, I never noticed how closely snow forts mirrored the real world.

From all this, I’ve learned that in life, there will be leaders to follow. There will be conflict, but there can also be peace. I just never realized that a simple fort could serve as a microcosm for society.

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