Sue Purkiss, in her excellent blog about snow Dark Lords,Witch Queens, and Snow on ABBA yesterday, said -
'Snow changes what happens, we all know that: ordinary life holds its breath. You can't work any more, so you might as well play.
But there's something else, something much deeper than that. We are taken back to an older time, when we were bound more closely to nature; to a time when people must have wondered if winter would ever end, and if they could possibly survive it even if it did.'
We have just had almost two weeks of incredibly deep snow. When it arrived so early it seemed quite beautiful and a lot of fun, but soon almost all travel was impossible, except on foot through snow that lay a foot deep.
That was when, as Sue says, ordinary life held its breath. But it felt much more than that.
When day after day we looked out on this altered landscape through snow-crusted windows it should have been an opportunity to get lots done at home, but perhaps we are more instinctive beings than our modern lives would suggest?
After the first day or so when we cleared paths only to have them as deep in snow by the following morning, it should have been easy to settle down to working at home or doing all those things that there never seems time for.
But instead I was unable to concentrate on anything for very long, as if life was on hold, breathlessly waiting to see when this force of nature would melt away and everything would return to normal. My friends and neighbours reported the same sense of waiting, of not-quite-holiday, when day after day we woke to more and more snow, just when we thought it was beginning to disappear, it all came back again, worse than ever.
Most of it finally melted away leaving behind small mountains of hard-packed ice and snow where it had been cleared from the roads. Most of the deep snow may have gone but many icy paths and pavements are still covered by snow, hardened to solid ice by sub zero temperatures. It is currently -7 outside but the latest fall of snow seems to have avoided our little corner of the land and is currently immobilising the north and south.
The forecast threatens - as the nursery rhyme goes - ' The north wind shall blow and we shall have (more) snow...' Will we still hold our breath until it all goes away again? Will our instinct for survival make us fight the lethargy or make us want to hibernate until the spring?