Places Change


Places change when snow falls. Not just the views, but something much deeper too. Sounds damped, carry further. Traffic is slowed, perspectives altered because depth cannot so easily be discerned. Cleaner. Astonishingly so. Colour, so banally usually taken for granted is stolen, replaced with white, greys, shade and lack of line as shape merges with shape
Distances alter too. There’s somehow more to notice, more care to be taken, for each and every ten paces. Balance becomes a to-be-learned –again art.
This snow, expected, predicted, fell so duvet-deep so quickly – the changes were rapid. For nigh-on three days the air has been filled with falling flakes: small and moist, large and swirling or almost invisible. Black on white silhouettes if you looked upwards to see them against the pale grey skies, white on white as they settle towards the ground. The sky itself a uniform near-white plane of cloud; no distinction between the base of the sky and roof or tree line.
Snow falling irresistibly, hypnotically during daylight; flakes blurring photographs, frustrating captures. Snow falling backlit by dandelion yellow sodium streetlights in the darkness. Inaudible percussion strangely reassuring.
And, keeping my resolution in such delightful circumstances I have walked each of these three days. With waterproof trousers, Brasher boots and two cameras. Walks that are easy enough in summer, but leg-burning challenges in the past ankle deep snow and
winds. Exhilarating, tempting to go just a little further … what will the bridge down Watery Lane look like ?
Followed by curious robin on the sunken path between double hedgerow. I believe he (or she) was looking for me to unwittingly uncover food that lay beneath the leaf litter below the snow. Flown away from by woodpigeons resting in the ivy curtains that sheath the tall hedges. Noticed by blanketed ponies sheltering in hay-bale corners, ignored by jackdaws.
In lighter snow before lunch I cleared the driveway, Tipping near eight inches of snow from the roof, windscreen and bonnet of my ever-suffering car with a soft yard brush.
This evening, though my brain refuses to accept the fact … it has stopped snowing. My eyes, having become accustomed to falling snow seem determined to see it even when it is not there.
I will miss it.

21st January, 2013


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