Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Last Day of Snow


The night before it melted, the skies opened and the snow that I dreamed of fell to the earth. It came down after dark, huge clumps spiralling through the blackness, and when I pressed my face up against the window, I could see the flakes dropping from the sky and I felt as though I were falling or flying.

And even though James assured me that it would all be melted by morning and the rain would come in the night, I drew back my curtains at sunrise to find the world drenched once again in white and glittering with untouched promise in the early morning light.

And so began the last day of the snow. A stolen day of bright magic, when the world was meant to be grey. A day when the snow crunched and gave beneath your boots and the sun peeked out from behind the clouds to make you squint and smile as you played. A perfect day for adventuring. A perfect day for sledging.

We set our sledge on the slope and raced downhill with John whooping and giggling on our laps and then panted back up the slope, pulling him in tow. We felt the thrill of the the snow beneath our sledge, we smiled as the sun kissed our skin and we slipped easily in and out of memories as we skidded down that slope.

Sometimes Daddy took the helm, sometimes I whooped with glee as I whizzed down behind my boy and sometimes John bravely navigated the hill alone.

And as I watched him grin in gleeful terror as he slid and flew, I felt a little part of me click into a place of contentment.

Because you see, I dreamed of these moments. I dreamed of my boy bundled up in hats and scarves and boots; I dreamed of white hillsides and fresh footprints;I dreamed of snowman building and snowball fights and of course I dreamed of sledging. I dreamed of those memories that I cherish from my childhood recreated for my boy. I dreamed it and it came true. And for that I am so very, very thankful.


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Snow, Snow, Snow


The snow fell on Friday and has lain on the ground for a week. For seven days the world has been white when I've drawn back my curtains, and icicles have hung from the eaves, glinting with a fearful beauty that puts me in mind of fairy tales. 

Some afternoons water has dripped from branches and other mornings fresh dustings of snow have covered the land, but always there's been the presence and possibility of snow in the air, and we've been living with a sense of unreality pressed up against reality, in the presence of all this beauty.

Of course, life has gone on. All week we've gone about our usual business, visiting friends, playing monsters, keeping appointments and painting ceilings. But every time I've glanced out of my window or set foot through my door, I've been greeted with the miraculous spectacle of snowflakes and reminded that life is extra special, extra beautiful, extraordinary.

And in between all the mundane details of living, that so often suffocate my wonder, I've been gifted with moments of magic.

I've heard the crunch of snow beneath my boots as I've walked out to the car, I've sat and watched lost snowflakes wend their way through an open sky, I've driven through white fields transformed by the setting sun and gasped at the beauty of the world, and I've wrapped my boy up warm and watched him slip and run through the frozen world with a smile on his face and never a care for the cold.

And as I've returned back to the reality of living, the sense of the extraordinary has come with me, and slipped into our home life too. And in amongst the everyday business of life we've lit the fire, made pies, baked potatoes, drunk hot chocolate, watched The Snowman, snuggled on the sofa and watched the snow from the windows.

Tonight the snow still sits on the ground, and before I go to bed I will peek out of the back door to look at the way it glints in the moonlight. Soon it will be gone, and reality will resume. But for now, I'm living in the presence of magic, and life is extra special, extra beautiful, extraordinary.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

First Snow


"Can we play in the snow now?" said the boy, his little body still warm from his bed, his eyes still unfocused with sleep. "Can we? Can we?"

"We can play in the snow after breakfast," I said, holding his wriggling body at the window and watching the snowflakes sprinkle the the world

"Right now?" he asked, just as he always does.

"No," I said, setting him down and turning my face again to the snow. "First we're going to eat pancakes."

And so began the first snow day of the season. A day of swirling flakes that brushed against the window pane and then dropped dreamily to the earth. A day of pancakes and snow boots and puddles on the kitchen floor. A day of snowball fights and footprints and roaring fires and sky gazing. A day alive with the excitement of Daddy unexpectedly at home and tingling with the promise of more snow in the night. A day of cold promise and spiralling magic.

The first day of snow. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Gruffalo Hunting


He stood at the edge of the woods, his eyes wide, his little face frozen in fear. "Deep dark woods in there" he said, his eyes sweeping the trees anxiously, "Gruffalo live here."

"Yes," I said, indulgently, stretching out a hand even as I walked towards the trees, "Shall we go and see if we can find him?"

"No." said John, with a quiver, his feet glued to the path. "I no like deep dark wood."

We stood in silence for a second as I looked up at the trees and wondered what to say next. For a moment, nothing moved, and then a couple of crows flapped noisily from a nearby tree and John screamed in pure, untempered terror and ran, panting and sobbing into my arms, gasping the word "gruffalo."

It took a long, long time to coax him into the deep dark woods. It took promises of sausages and assurances that gruffalo's aren't real. It took hints of hot chocolate and a big stick to beat off gruffalos, just in case.

But once we reached the clearing, in the centre of the tallest trees, all the effort seemed worth while. We set up our little stove and laid our blanket out on the bench, and as the glorious smell of sausages drifted up through the trees, all I could think was: we need to do this more often.

More map reading over breakfast. More camp-fires and cook-outs. More hide and seek in the woods. More hot chocolate from thermal mugs. More swinging from trees and treasure hunting on the forest floor. More gallivanting and whooping and laughing.

Yes, we need to do this more often. More adventuring together.