I love snow in all its aspects, yet browsing through past holiday pictures I realized that snow has thousands of faces and meanings. From the simple joy of snowflakes to the excitement and rush of making a snow angel or a snowman; from the wonder of an icicle to the art nature instills in a frozen fence; or, simply, the unspoiled wonder the morning after a snow storm holds.
Join me in finding the different meanings that snow holds.
The weather channel announced the blizzard, so everyone was expecting it: the snowfall. It came over a few days, quietly falling, day after day. The ground has to be frozen, you see, for the snow to settle and we were holding thumbs that first day: freeze, freeze. Checking the windows every half an hour: does the tar still shows? Has a dusty layer of snow settled yet? It takes a couple of day, you know. And it starts with a skift, a light snowfall.
Then, one morning, we woke up to this:
And to some footsteps left on our windowsill:
Need I say how fast we got dressed to go outside? As fast as our endless layers of clothing allowed us, anyway. And this is what we saw:
One of snow’s thousand faces certainly is wonder! Its meaning? Live in the moment.
Let it snow… or make it snow!
I think you have to be very patient if you are a coniferous tree. And have lots of practice sitting perfectly still.
Snow angels, through their serenity and peace, do confer winter a higher, spiritual meaning. But the joy that goes into making them certainly anchor the holiday season firmly into childhood. Maybe this symbol of winter is the fine, silver thread that connect so many hearts around the world, an universal language.
And snowmen! Yet you need a certain type of snow to built one, it has to warm up a little, so the snow will release some heat that, in turn, will bound the snowflakes together and help them hold their shape.
Then the onding, the heavy snow, returned. That’s a massive snowfall, but not big enough to be qualified as a blizzard. An onding is a regionalism used in Scotland and Northern England since the middle of the 18th century.
And a day later we walked to the shops…
The snow was THAT big:
Brave us, we traveled to Sighisoara by train, through snow. This will be a story on its own, but for now this is what we saw: grue, thin, floating ice:
Here is a first glimpse at Sighisoara, the amazing medieval city built along Târnava Mare River:
I have ambivalent feelings for the snow and ice clinging to a fence. It can be art, like this spiraled fence capped with snow:
Or this glowing, frozen chicken wire fence:
Yet this barbed wire frozen in winter makes me wince:
I leave you with this: as spiky as a barbed wire, as graceful as a ice-skater’s blades, the icicle is wonder and physics combined:
Winter’s artful magic wand.
For more winter poems and haiku: