Four days after a historic snow blizzard that shook the city, Melissa was certain it was only a matter of time before people began to tumble on the ice.
After multiple near-misses, she slid and fell too. Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt – accustomed to falling ever so randomly.
That’s when she felt a gentle squeeze on her arm. “Are you OK?” Tall, slender, with glistening emerald eyes, Nick – as she would soon learn – was genuinely concerned. “May I offer you a hot chocolate to toss off the cold?”
And somehow like that, each day becomes unique, fascinating, and seldom boring.
There is a game to play when you want to make a quick decision and you’re hesitating between two options. To resolve the dilemma, you’re told to ask yourself a series of questions with two answers; the key is to respond as rapidly as possible without thinking too much. So when you get to the query at hand, you’ll answer quickly enough to know how you truly feel about it. Speed here leads to authenticity.
One such question could be if you prefer to be too hot or too cold. But what really is the answer to that, without being season-sensitive concerning when you’re actually asking the question?
In summer, we’re likely to say we prefer being cold. And in winter, vice-versa.
But then a day comes, when snowfall begins unexpectedly – as suddenly as it may be given the week-long meteo warnings. And everything seems so much prettier. Snow makes everything appear happier, more magical, more walking-on-clouds-fluffy-paradise-bright. You don’t care if it’s cold when you’re dressing up like an eskimo, to walk outside like a penguin, to engage in snowball fights like a child. It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel your limbs, let alone your fingers when you’re gathering snow to build a perfect snowman. Amidst the laughter the snow day is causing, the cold is just a side-effect.
But when it all starts to melt, when the fluffy snowflakes turn into rock hard ice, when it’s too slippery to tread outside in the sludge, and when it’s so freaking freezing that it doesn’t even matter there is the sun in the sky, then, yes, you begin to consider that not everything is so lovely as it initially seems. Everything has its limits, and if you’re not prepared – without the infrastructure or mechanisms – to deal with extreme weather conditions, the problems caused can be life-threatening.
Perhaps the cold is something that can be solved with a warm house (via a fireplace or radiator at least), a cosy blanket, a hot beverage, good company, and some entertainment. Perhaps even the temperature is something we control in our minds. But the truth is, cold makes you shut down to preserve energy.
We want days off because we’re too cold to move. But if we were moving in the first place, we might not feel the cold too much…
She woke up with the rejuvenating sensation that all is well in the world, simply because outside it was snowing since the previous night.
For some reason, snow always makes everything seem better.
She was genuinely happy after a long time.
He spooned her into a warm hug though which her optimism diffused into him. And that’s how great ideas – at the spark of a moment – are born; how adventures are concocted.
“Let’s go!” he called as he threw the blanket off them, forcing her to get up and get dressed.
“Promise it’s worth it!” he added.
She thought it was difficult – almost impossible – to find herself in a relationship where there was mutual understanding, shared craziness, and above all, truthfulness. But as they grew and evolved together, they both realised that a person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected. And most importantly, they would actually act on the words they say. Perhaps that was the most difficult of all these days. Because it’s so easy to say a lot, and fill each other with expectation and dreams; but how often do we take the step to realise them all?
The drive to the wooden cabin up the mountain was majestic. The snowy white blanket acted as a tranquiliser, and they soon forgot about every trouble they had at that moment. For now, all that was important was to enjoy the very moment, away from everything and everyone. It was just them, there, happy. In snow.
They had headed up North for the elections. It was one of the craziest, most irrational, and insane months of the past decade, marred by conflicts, foul language, and political incorrectness at all levels.
But she enjoyed having returned home for the vote. It was a chance for a mini-holiday to a place she knew well. And with people she knew since forever.
All but him.
She bumped into him on a snowy slope, when they were huddling over the best view of the town. She slipped in the snow and fell straight onto him.
They met in a snowstorm. Or rather, they truly saw each other in one. Because you never really know a person until you experience something challenging together. Until you witness a side that is not usually seen. The weaknesses and genuine personality. Things you often try to hide to the outer world.
The snowstorm was that crisis. But it was also the opportunity to come closer. It was when they acknowledged they had more in common that originally believed.
When you have a blank page staring back at you, there is something wanting about it. If you consider it, it’s full of opportunities, prospects, potential. The possibilities and stories with which to fill it up are endless.
There is something intrinsic about the colour white. It has class, elegance, purity, authenticity. It is like a diamond in the rough. It can be anything.
Perhaps that’s why we associate white with beginnings. Because it stores so much hope.
That’s why snow makes everything look pretty. Because it covers life’s imperfections and makes even wilted flowers look full of life again.
The best thing about snow, is that it makes everything prettier.
Even if just for a day, the white blanket that covers everything brings along a serenity and peace that is constantly lacking from our daily routines, even more so during a pandemic.
Even if the entire city or country paralyses for a day, because of half a metre (more or less) of snow, there is a tranquillity disbursed in the air.
Even if you take a day off work because it’s ‘snow day’, it turns out that you have the most fun when you become a child again. When you wake your friends up from the very early hours of the day so you can rejoice that it’s snowing in the midst of winter, but the flakes are huge and constant for hours. When you arrange to go make a snowman and play snowfights in the white-covered park, feeling as though you’ve retreated to a ski resort.
Even if just for a day, snow lifts up your mood regardless, makes you smile broadly for no apparent reason, and creates memories that last a lifetime.
It was one of those winter days when you would throw (boiling) water up in the air and by the time it began its descent it had already turned into ice.
Yes, it was that cold.
But Miranda loved it. She loved the snow, the cold, and the warmth it led to indoors, wrapped up with a blanket in front of the fireplace with a hot drink in hand, and family and friends around telling stories.
The cold brought them closer together. That was what she remembered.
Sometimes all it takes is for something out of the ordinary to remind us of the most fundamental virtues in life.
We tend to forget the need to nurture our bonds with others when we simply go about our (normal) days.
Winter is coming. Finally, after having almost completed half of the three-month calender period of the winter season, meteorologists are predicting freezing temperatures, harsh storms and heavy snowfall.
Simon was happy about it, contrary to most people who were bracing for a disaster as presented by local media.
Simon loved the snow. He saw it as an opportunity for games, where he could ditch school and build snowmen and snow angels from the heavenly flakes that seem to levitate like feathers in the air.
But he was unaware of the trouble the snow caused. How it made life difficult for the poorer castes who lacked the infrastructure to face the adverse conditions. Or how it made access around cities almost impossible, with the snow becoming ice that was too difficult to break to clear the way.
To Simon, all the talk about challenges and difficulties, and the state’s targets and aims, and all such political talk were bunkum. He saw it as simply performative speech-making, insincere rhetoric that only served to spread unnecessary panic among the people. If only, listeners could actually think for themselves, read more, gain a pluralism of information and be critical of everything they hear.
If people could form a viewpoint of their own, perhaps, Simon thought, they could learn to enjoy the snow more.