As I write the snow lies deep and crisp and even, schools are off and I’ve never seen so many people in my street clearing the snow from roads and paths. You feel closer to your community when you share stories with neighbours doing the same or clearing the paths of elderly people.
Every year we have a little snow and understandably everything stops. We’re not really set up for it. It’s fun to throw out your usual routine and possibly have fun in the snow until your fingers and feet decide otherwise.
“In my travels I’ve seen it more extreme. In Canada I saw the sea frozen for miles and threw a saucepan of boiling water into the air and see it instantly turn to snow crystals and drift down.“
In Siberia I arrived in a snowstorm in October and in the taxi ride from the airport I saw a rather different special military operation as machines, snow ploughs and armies of men shovelled and removed the snow from roads all around. It all looked a much practised drill.
And what could be nicer in the cold winter than to be inside in the warmth with an extra layer or two? Soup, slow cooker on the go and perhaps a nip of the stronger stuff.
This year I can’t help thinking about the Ukrainian people and their battle on two fronts. A foreign aggressor and the bitter cold of winter without power, heating or lighting.
If our current cold snap makes us grateful for the comforts we get at the press of a button, then we’re reminded that our world is a fragile and precious place.