After a two-day blizzard: a sense of intimacy

Living in Denmark, I don’t get to enjoy winter as I know it. Yes, it is dark and gloomy and the incessant winds make sure you’re shivering to your bones if you’ve stayed outside too long. Yes, I know, people here normally complain about it not being summertime already and about how much they hate winter. One mention of how warm it currently is in Greece or Portugal, and the locals melt away in a somewhat affected sensory stupor caused by their imaginations suggesting them the joys of running barefoot on the beach clad in nothing more than a t-shirt, perhaps…

As fine an image as that is, I find myself being a retrograde in this respect and naturally complain that the winter here is not really winter. I mean, come on! There’s so much green through the season! And where’s all the snow up to one’s knee (or higher)? Where’s the crisp, crackling frosty air and the exhale that lingers in front of one’s face because it’s just so damn cold? Winter is often described as heavy, and I get that. But there’s also an effervescent lightness about the kind of winter that I miss. The kind I caught a quick glimpse of a few weeks ago when spending the weekend in Russia after it had just been snowed in.

Wading through the occasionally hip-deep snow in a forest brought me so much joy the first day there that I almost cried. Memories, emotions from the past just flooded in. I was a kid again for a few hours. There’s such incredible intimacy one may experience sitting (or lying!) in the snow under a tree, hidden away, tucked in. Intimacy — that’s what I miss the most about a real winter. Will I ever get used to not having it or will I keep looking north in search of it? I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy a few snapshots from my trip.

How is winter where you live? Is it a big part of your sense of home — for better or worse?



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