We have a volatile relationship. As a die hard summer person, I have had little to do with snow all my life, and to be perfectly honest, little interest in concerning myself with having something to do with it. I am a lizard. I chase the sun and lie beneath it, then hibernate, whilst complaining loudly, during Sydney’s cooler months. I prefer sand in my swimmers, to constantly cold feet. I am a complete novice when it comes to anything remotely concerning snow. Then I moved to Germany.
I cannot lie, I was rather excited when it first began to fall. Actually fall from the sky, with me, bearing witness. It was rather magical. I poked my tongue out to try and catch a few flakes on its tip, and ended up catching several with my eye. Undeterred, I ran around saying breathily, ‘look, it’s snowing.’ I was warned by several, seasoned, hardened snow people, as I ran around flinging my arms about and gazing out the window, that I would tire of it within two days. But it looked so pretty, and I hadn’t seen actual snow (Whistler in May notwithstanding) since a family ski trip when I was eleven, during which my parents had skied into a fence, one after the other.
Then, I fell over. Limbs akimbo, I skittered to a mortifying halt, on my arse, in front of a bus stop full of people. Then, pair by pair, my boots proved not to be completely waterproof. Then walking to the bus stop everyday became a treacherous expedition, marred by post traumatic stress following my undignified bus stop slip-up. And it got cold. Too cold to enjoy being out. Cold enough to harden the ends of my hair and give me the nose of a 90 year old alcoholic. Cold enough to make dressing to face the day completely unpleasurable and unneccessarily time consuming as every item in my wardrobe was used to layer-up against the icy air. Slowly (or rapidly, depending on how you look at it) snow lost its lustre.
But losing its lustre didn’t stop the snow. It (spitefully, one might say) continued, until it had blanketed my home town, bringing trains and traffic to a standstill. And then it snowed some more.
Everything is white. Everything is wearing a snow hat. Everything looks beautiful. I am living in Narnia with the skin pallor of the White Witch. I stare at the snow everyday, trying to remember what it was about it that I first fell in love with, all those weeks ago. Sometimes, I momentarily recapture the magic, by stepping into a big, fresh, powdery mountain and seeing how far up my leg it reaches. Then my leg begins to freeze and the novelty factor which, admittedly, was always tenuous, disappears.
We’re taking each day as it comes, the snow and I. I am still unable to dress elegantly in its presence, and hate the way it makes me feel dowdy in my thousands of layers. I watch it quietly in the morning and wish, just sometimes, that it was sand. I mean, I still have my breath taken away, everyday, by the mere sight of it … but is that enough to save us?
Only time will tell.