Spring seems to be round the corner. Not only are the days getting longer but the sun seems to be willing to come out for several hours a day and this almost on a daily basis. As a result, the temperature has shot above the 10 degree-mark a couple of times. For instance, yesterday the temperature was sufficiently warm to have emboldened me to walk back home without wearing my winter jacket – well, this was also because I was carrying two shopping bags and a rucksack, which of course made me feel warm, so I took off my jacket and put it in the bag with my library books.
5 March 2015: only a sprinkle and a gap in the landscape
Although the temperature could drop steeply and there could be the right weather conditions for some snow, I do not expect to see any again this winter. The last snowfall, on Thursday, seemed like a sprinkle of icing sugar…
22 February 2015: after a woolly snowfall; sadly, the tree on the left has been cut since
However, here on the hills of Lausanne there have been several snowfalls this winter – six major ones if I recall correctly – so I cannot complain. Whenever this is the case, i.e. whenever the snowfall has been sufficiently heavy to cover the landscape below our block of flats, I almost relive the excitement of my childhood days in Geneva, when this would mean some sledging in the area between my parents’ flat and school.
Yet the next time there is some heavy snowfall here, there will not be on my part any Alice-like musings on the snow covering the trees below because the largest that stood just below us was chopped into pieces with a chainsaw on 25 and 26 February:
‘Do you hear the snow against the window-panes, Kitty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about – whenever the wind blows – oh, that’s very pretty!’ cried Alice, dropping the ball of worsted to clap her hands. ‘And I do so wish it was true! I’m sure the woods look sleepy in the autumn, when the leaves are getting brown’.
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
21 February 2015: woolly snowflakes are conducive to near meditation
I guess I shall simply have to sit in the living room and look further to the left to make abstraction of the missing tree and let my mind drift with the woolly snowflakes the next time there is some heavy snow falling in front of our balcony…
Not only is snow beautiful, but ‘the white, snowy iridescent threshold of all possibility’ (to quote a character from one of D.H. Lawrence’s novels) lends itself so well to metaphysical musings, methinks. 😉
- Some of the greatest pleasures in life are free – snow, water and ice (previous entry on this blog)
- ‘The secret life of the snowflake revealed’, Charlie English, The Guardian, 7 January 2009; gallery of beautiful snowflakes here
- ‘Snow in literature’, Claire Armitstead, The Guardian, 8 January 2010 [28 min podcast in which Claire Armitstead, Charlie English and Sarah Crown discuss snow in literature]
- ‘Charlie English’s top 10 snow books’, The Guardian, 17 November 2008