No matter how old we all get, there is always that part of us that -at times- feels and acts like a little child. Don’t you agree?
Often it is just hidden, and it gets out when it is triggered in a certain way. For me that trigger is snow.
Yes, you read it right. If you live up north, and each and every day during long winter you have to get out and shovel the driveway just to be able to leave the house, you might think this is incomprehensible. But for me, a Flemish girl living way too close to the seaside to receive a yearly portion of snow it is quite different.
Just like I search my weatherapps (yes, I have many) for thunderstorms in summer, I search them for snow in winter. I am willing to take the plane to snowy places just to be able to put my feet in the white substance called snow, and take pictures.
In Covid times, places like Vienna, Stockholm, New York are changed with Baraque Michel, Spa, Brussels and Antwerp. Any place in Belgium that has a higher probability than where I live.
And when the forecasts are there, I start texting friends and family all over the country ‘is it snowing there?’. Many people that have me in their phonebook have woken up with that message more than once. Have put their heads outside the door to check for me. And when the answer is affirmative I start arranging and planning.
But this week, basically out of the blue, after a day of forecasted snow that didn’t come, it starts. It is my husband who yells at me, just before closing the door on his way out, ‘It’s snowing!’ that got me all exited. The text messages I send out over the whole country all come back negative, so going out for a walk in the neighbourhood with a friend seems like a great idea.
I take my camera, of course, even though it is still snowing, it is weather sealed, and as it was quite windy I could always keep it out of the snow. No tripod. I shoot out of my hand with an open aperture, that’s OK as the visibility is quite low due to the falling snow, there is not a lot of depth of field anyway.
The landscape has turned semi white, not completely, and here and there some green or gold is coming through. When touching the paved road the flocks change into a mushy substance, and here and there it is slippery, but it sticks beautifully onto the branches of the trees. Our coats become spotted with white, and our pants muddy brown from passing cars that don’t mind us and rush by without slowing down or going aside. “Where are your manners??“, we yell at them disbelieve.
In these days, we are not allowed to invite people into our homes, apart from the one ‘hug buddy’ (knuffelcontact), restaurants and bars are still closed, we can only go shopping on our own, so going for a walk with a friend is about the only way to meet up and get up to date with the latest, going for a walk with a friend in the snow, is much more then just catching up, it is living through my child’s dream over and over again… even though there was not enough snow -nor time- to make a snow man.
I look forward to the next snow, when my inner child can go play again.