When we were outside this evening – taking the bins out and having a little wander around the block – I got thinking about winter. After all, ’tis the season, here in Finland at least.
A forum acquaintance of mine describes herself as living in Frigid Nowhere. She is of the opinion that cold is of little use without snow, and I really would say that I agree with her on that.
We have snow now. It came yesterday afternoon, and if my language-learning partner is to be believed there is a full five centimetres of the stuff. Sounds about accurate. It is in fact still relatively warm at the moment. We’re only a tad below freezing most of the time. I’m sure it will get much, much colder as the weeks go on. Minus thirty is about the lowest I’ve known it get this far south in the country.
I never used to like winter in England. Most of the time it had that cold-no-snow thing going on, and who likes that? It would be rainy and cold and grey and dreary, and everything I hate about winter.
Even when there was snow I didn’t enjoy it – the temperatures rarely stay consistent enough for the snow to be “good” snow. It would thaw and freeze, thaw and freeze, until just leaving your house seemed like taking your life in your hands because of the slipperiness. I went back to England for Christmas the first year I lived in Finland. We had plenty of snow here and I could walk just fine. In England they also had “snow” and it was like trying to walk on glass in places.
Once I came to Finland and experienced proper snow I began to appreciate winter more. Finnish winter is beautiful. I love the sound of the snow crunching underfoot, the delicate lacing on tree branches, and even the cold at times. It can be bracing, refreshing, to feel that cold chill on your face. At least, as long as you are wrapped up warmly enough overall.
I look forward to the day, sometime in years to come, when I have children of my own to take out and play in the snow. To take them sledding and skiing – things I have never done myself. To build snowmen and make snow-angels. I hope that my children will appreciate the wonder and magic of snow that I had, for a time, forgotten.
Are you a snow lover or a snow hater? Do you prefer winter or summer, and why?