In the Bleak Mid-Winter

snow

In the bleak midwinter frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone. Snow had fallen snow on snow, snow on snow. In the middle of winter one comes to expect snow and in certain places plenty of it. Snow is beautiful. It carpets any scene, any view and transforms it into an eye-catching and attractive picture. Few people can resist looking out over a snow-covered landscape and be spellbound by it. The thick, white blanket that conceals all the blemishes and carbuncles that are ordinarily visible. A scrap yard which is full of rusting motor vehicles, broken washing machines and discarded fridges becomes an undulating cloak of unbroken snow. Those rough edges become smoothed. The stained soil is hidden beneath the sparkling coat. The world soon becomes a more attractive and an almost magical place.

As the first snowflakes begin to fall, that excitement still rises within most people. They are transported to their childhood and remember the anticipation of the snowfall. It might mean a snow day and freedom from school. It certainly meant snowball fights, sledging and building snow men. An infrequent opportunity to engage in something different in this marvellous winter wonderland. It also evokes such keen images of Christmas, that most celebrated of seasons and therefore the link between snow and wonderful sensations and events is incredibly strong.Even the solitary snow flake is a thing of wonder. Perfect crystalline formations, each different, delicate and seductive. They mesh together as the isolated snowflakes become a dusting and as more snow falls, the temperature lowered, the dusting becomes a layer and then a carpet which grows thicker and deeper. The world slows down to embrace this beauty. Everything looks clean, smoothed and beautiful. Noise becomes muffled and invariably silence reigns as if sound has agreed to be muted in silent reverence of the visual spectacular that is created by a snowfall.

When the snow first comes it is mesmerising, enchanting and makes everything seem wonderful. Of course being trapped beneath this frozen water is a cold and unpleasant experience. Over time it compacts and ices over, proving of little use for snowballs. Gone is the gentle fluffiness to be replaced by a hard-edged and potentially injurious surface that cuts if gathered into an  ice ball. The thick covering of snow brings chaos to transport, halting trains and blocking roads. Walking becomes hazardous and the very young and very old find themselves confined to their homes. The ice that gathers on power lines drags them down and cuts people off. This once beautiful weather phenomenon becomes costly and inconvenient. Plans are cancelled, events postponed and even the simplest of tasks become laborious. Even a thawing brings with it that damp, cold slush that chills and wets, increasing the risk of a traffic accident or slipping over. The once white paradise becomes browned slush and sharp ice, neither being appealing. It freezes as the temperature drops again but has none of the beauty that preceded it. As the days become weeks this seemingly unending cold front with its legacy of ice and snow grows all the more unwelcome, yet its grip shows no sign of loosening, generating more inconvenience and misery for those who are isolated by it or consigned to having to deal with it. That once white magical landscape has soon transformed into something frightful and difficult. How easily the world changes from such mesmerising beauty into cold, hurtful bleakness.

Strangely familiar don’t you think?

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20 thoughts on “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”

  1. WOW. so so well written HG! I was thinking about something like this last winter – but I looked at it the other way around. How in the cold, cold days all you wanted was someone to snuggle up with. Also, how people are like snow – below the cold surfaces lies a warm, vulnerable person. I posted a picture with these thoughts last year with him in mind. What say?

  2. However, when all the greyness and ugliness melts, when the warmth, after such a cold and frosty winter, finaly hits again, then shine of the sun melts the last bits of the dirty ice, then the brightly green grass once again begins to cover the soil that has been dreadfully frozen during the winter. The place, that during the winter seemed so abandoned and sulky, becomes fresh and delightful again. Its the cycle.

  3. Brilliant analogy.

    Deep with in under what is frozen and untouchable is a place in time, forgotten.

    When it reemerges it becomes dark, unpredictable, and frightening.

    Control is the solution and the demise

  4. You capture it all so beautifully ( the inner child in us all) and then so brutally ( the hard cold facts of life) this is one of my favorites HG! Thank you for sharing your gifted writing ability with us and also, the hard cold but also honest truth! Xxx

  5. Ooooh! Loved this one! I do so love
    Everything about snow! Even the bad things. I live in the back end of beyond where they may not plow the road for days, even for just a few inches. After one ice storm my power was off for 23 days! And I still loved it – the beauty, pitting my wits against adversity, the isolation. Now I wonder if this love of heavy snows with all their hardships may be connected with my love and tolerance of the narcs in my life….I think that’s one thing I so love about your posts – they trigger deep introspection about my own life.

  6. Beautifully written and we have a ton of snow here. It looked pretty today but the slush and dreary days ugh. Hoping one day to live in a warm climate and the snow well ill just look at a christmas card lol

  7. Yes, I hate when my car would get dirty from the snow and slush on the roads. One reason why I like where I live.

  8. Beautifully written… I miss the snow from growing up and sledding in the forest and by the lake. Don’t miss the ugliness and slushyness of it and past narc actions though…

  9. HG,
    I am amazed that narcissistic individuals tend to take beauty and find the negative so very quickly. I wonder if you are a generally negative person in real life. My Mother is the most negative person I have ever known. The woman is constantly pointing out flaws. I could say look at the snow how pretty! She would say, yeah, but it’s just going to turn black or rotten kids will come trudging down the sidewalk. Do you think that all narcissists exhibit a high level of negativity? Or is it dependant upon where they sit on your the spectrum? To go along with that do you criticize people alot? Verbally or internally? If you could answer, that would be great. Thanks.

  10. Beautifully written… As I have said so many times, I so miss the snow, the romantic aspects of it. I soon forgot when I moved south, all the ugliness of it as well. The mud season, the filthy ice mounds, the razor sharp crust above a cake of snow. Yesss, so familiar. Thank you for the reminder today, as I felt the nip of rosy memories. I will sit and eve ever grateful if the 70 degree weather on Christmas with my son, grandson and Lego pieces everywhere 😊

  11. You have a way with words…
    You have a way with hearts…
    You have a way with minds…
    You can shape and mold them all into something beautiful and joyful.
    Or contort and twist them into something dark and painful.

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