A memory of snow
- by Alexander S.-Telin
- posted January 22, 2018
It is late fall of 1997. I go out for a morning walk with my dog. It has been snowing the whole night. First real snow this year. My dog is exuberant with joy. She is playing with the snow as if it were an old and dear friend. She is jumping around, baring her teeth in what seems like a genuine big smile. Her red tongue is hanging out. She is tasting the snow. Or is she talking to it? In my family we had a theory on why our dog was always so happy about the first snow. She was born in October and probably taken outside for the first time a few weeks later when the snow was already covering the ground. It was possibly how she saw the world that day. We never saw her elevated in quite the same way as during the first few days of the first snow each of the sixteen years that she was a part of our lives.
I don’t remember when I experienced snow for the first time. It must have been at an age too young to have memories from. It has always been there, a regular occurrence. I was skiing from the age of five coached by my dad, an avid and proficient skier, a Siberian native. Then we moved to a climate where snow fell only occasionally and did not stay for long. I stopped skiing and never picked it up again even after moving back north again at the age of fifteen.
Snow is many things to me. It is a vast plain Baltic landscape, absolutely white in the winter when land and sea become one. It is warm and comfortable sweaters, big woolen scarves, and hats, and mittens. It is home-brewed mulled wine with friends on a freezing evening. It is having to clean the car every morning before going to work. It is home and it is despair. It is silence. It is clarity. And it is chaos.
It is odd living without snow now. Copenhagen doesn’t really get any — it’s simply too warm. I call this dark season a non-winter, fully aware that it’s all relative, of course. That doesn’t stop me from longing for snow, though. I miss it…
…do you? What’s your relationship with snow?