Snow in Silicon Valley?

The inward traveler doesn't have to go very far to have a new and scintillating experience.  Just this morning Winter Wonderland came to the Eastern hills of Silicon Valley.

While hiking one of my favorite elevated trails I was amazed by the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Hamilton.  I've seen the Alps and the Rockies in their white brilliance.  I'm guessing the Himalayas are even more majestic - but no more inspiring than what I saw today. Why?  These are mere hills in comparison but they were totally transformed from the usual landscape of brush and  pastures newly greened by  receent late-fall rains.

As much as I try to stay present to my observations as I am walking I suppose I don't always register the subtle nuances of the landscape, don't see with fresh eyes.  The snow was not to be missed. It served as a rather blatant reminder of how easy it is to look without seeing until something is out of place.  What's more, it changed the focus of my walk. Suddenly I was thinking about snow: playing in it as a child, digging my car out of it while in graduate school in Michigan, introducing it to my California children and once having an auto accident because of it.  Reflecting on these memories was a totally unexpected but interesting experience.  So much for predicting what will transpire in the course of a routine walk!

What do you think about when the snow falls?  What memories get evoked?  What meaning does the first snow carry for you?