Snow, snow and more snow!

I wasn’t sure what I would wake up to this morning, after all, yesterday’s snow was such a joy and usually it is very short lived, so it was with great pleasure I saw that it was still white outside. I know to a lot of people it is an awful thing that causes a lot of problems and I do feel I am one of the people that is trapped indoors to a certain extent, but it does look so lovely and it changes the way we do things. Sometimes it is good to revaluate our place in this world and I feel that when we are prevented from doing the normal daily tasks, like going to work, walking to the shops and so on, it gives us time to think.

Every day I watch people walking past my house on their way to work, college, school or to the shop. Today it was different. Cars still drove up the road but because of the deep snow and sludge, the traffic was slower, more cautious and a lot fewer cars on the road. I note though, that the taxis were the only vehicles to still hurtle at speed over the hump in the road outside my home, despite the dreadful underwheel conditions!!! People were the interesting focus of my observations though. Children were off school so the mums and dads were missing from the walk past my house but students, still expecting to be at college walked by but today they returned having got to college just down the road and discovered it was closed because the tutors weren’t getting in. They were gathering snow and making snowballs on the way back and throwing them at people walking the street. It was interesting to note that my 19 year old daughter banged on the window because they were doing it to random passers by, ‘because’ as she said, ‘they were making a nuisance of themselves.’ When did our offspring suddenly become the parents?…

Anyway, people walked by as usual, some much more cautious, some hanging onto a friend, others strode with confidence as it nothing was different and one person was jogging by as if today was the same as any other day. I got to wondering, what is it that makes us who we are. Do we walk through life in the same way? I thought about the categories I like to put things in, my little boxes! There are those that plod along the same as ever, day by day, life always the same. There might be a little difficulty so we walk with a bit of extra support, like the man who lives opposite who today, walked with two sticks instead of one. The person who felt unsteady so held onto a friend, another who stepped every step slowly and cautiously but still did the same as they did everyday. The jogger who wasn’t going to let anything change their life in any way and me, who rarely goes out anyway, just sitting by my window and watching.

Most of us don’t let anything get in the way of our lives and even though the weather stopped many from going to work, life still carried on much the same for the majority of people. For me, I was grateful for the opportunity to do more watching. Not just the people but the snow itself. How quickly it changed from moment to moment. Heavy one minute, watery the next, fine and powdery a moment later. I took photos of each moment, drifting snow covering the back of the house, laying snow on plants and fences, heavy snow in the air, fine snow melting on the window and I remembered other times when snow touched our lives. When my children, now grown, built snowmen. I delighted to see they still do as adults, and snow angels! ok, my son made a joke about doing it naked now he is thirty something, but I remember when they were small and first watch ‘the little matchgirl’ where they first learned to make them.

I remember the times when I was small and houses never had central heating. Pipes froze and streets were without water so it was the children’s job to go and collect buckets of water from stand pipes in the road in the next street. I remember heating pennies in the stove and pressing them into the ice patterns on the windows to make peepholes to look out across the snowy garden, mixing sugar and milk and placing it in bun tins with sticks to make iced lollies in the days when we never had a fridge, let alone a freezer. I rememer linoleum floors that were so cold that we froze when we got up too early wanting to play and it taking ages to get warm when we climbed back into bed. Books became an important part of childhood because it was too cold for anything else, ahh those memories.

Today I welcome the snow because as a would be gardener I listen to the tales from old gardeners. ‘ We don’t have cold winters any more’ and  ‘it will kill the bugs in the garden’. I laugh. Everyone has their story, me? I just hope my rat friend will meet a cold but quick demise but meanwhile, I shall sit and watch the world around me and watch people making their own memories in the snow knowing that everything is happening as it should and that even though today might be difficult, we still have lessons learned from the past to fall back on, friends to get us by and a brighter future when everything is back to what we expect every day to be. Snow is beautiful, difficult too sometimes but if we all take a moment to stop and reflect we will find even more magic than we can see in each snowflake that falls, magic that never melts away because it remains as a memory, a reminder of another place and another time and a reminder that life does go on, no matter what.

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