...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Into the wardrobe

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, children Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy walk into a wardrobe and suddenly find themselves in a frozen world on the other side. Sometimes, I think that's how it feels to walk out the apartment building door. The warm and toasty indoors can make you forget that it's a cold and frozen world out there.

Last week, when these two pictures above were taken, it marked the coldest day here (as yet) at -15 degrees C, after having snowed heaps, too. And the snow looks like it's here to stay.

Despite the cold, we made walks – sometimes around the river, about 3 km, to longer 8 km walks. A little exercise, as long as you listen to your body's limits and allow for rest, is good for both body and soul, so we have made it a point to walk almost daily. Just going out at all into the outdoor icebox feels a bit inconvenient at first, but once we're out, it feels fulfilling. I tick an item in my mental checklist that says, "Take a walk today", and that feels good.

If nothing else, the winter landscape definitely is pretty, and it changes day per day. When it's very cold, snow crystallizes in the branches, making them white. Newly fallen snow looks as smooth as fondant on the flat ground and tops everything from hedges to cars and park benches, making everything look like giant marzipan figures. On most days, the sun hides behind a thick layer of clouds, but when the sun does come out, the ground and snow-covered objects gleam with a copper tone. Today was one of those days:

The snow-and-ice landscapes are ephemeral, transitory. The next time you see it, the immaculate blanket of fondant-snow will surely have had tracks on it; the snow heaps might have changed shape in the wind and sun; the frost on the branches would have shed. And you think about how incredibly lucky you are to have seen that landscape just when you did, just when it looked like that.

On a less romantized (and rather exotified?) view of snow: Snow has to be ploughed from the streets and from yards so that cars, baby carriages, wheelchairs and people can pass (of course). The streets have to be salted or sanded, to avoid slips and falls. We with balconies are obligated to keep them free from large amounts of snow that could weigh down the balcony or cause icicle-danger to people below. And when you think about it: overall, we're talking about a lot of snow. I collected two sink-loads of snow from just outside our balcony door last week so we could open the door. I took some from the window sill too to have an unhindered view outside. Imagine the snow that has to be ploughed from yards and streets! Imagine all that water floating around in the atmosphere to create this! Then again, that thought is probably not so new if you live in a land of typhoons and recurring floods. We just get them in frozen form.


Anonymous walkin wardrobes said...

would like to see some more pictures, nice article all the same

7:58 PM


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