Afternoon stretches way past where it was a month ago, and although the cold weather is here, to reassure us that winter still exists in spite of global warming, there's something in the slant of sun giving me hope.
Not that I am not happy in this season, for indeed I am, as I've long had a passion for snow -- and as for skating, back in the day (Ottawa, the early 80s), I'd be up well before dawn to take my place at Brewer's Park speed-skating oval or down on the canal, slipping over the ice by starlight, happy as a ... hmm... happy as a... what? Well, certainly I was happy then... and I remember the sensation of skating with something akin to pure joy. In fact, it WAS pure joy.
No doubt my skating days are over -- only last year, cleaning out the cellar, I gave up a pair of skates I'd saved for 25 years and took them, rusty and pathetic, to the Recycling Shop in Anduze. But my love of snow, no never, it's with me forever. Sadly, I avoid going up to the mountains here where there is snow this time of year, because snow tires are not part of one's kit in the south of France, roads are often slippery with black ice and drivers here seem not well trained to brake correctly in icy conditions (meaning that the accident rate in the hills is daunting). But when snow visits me, I am enthralled.... a child again, standing under the falling flakes with my mouth open and my tongue extended: exquisite pleasure.
|Here's the snowfall from my bedroom window, over looking the vineyard|
|And here from the back terrace over looking the river Ourne,|