I have always had a vicarious love-affair with snow, even before my fingers had ever brushed it, or crushed it into soft balls, or handled great crystalline blocks of it to fling over the distance. Funny, how snow, present everywhere in every form, pervasive in the very air around us; that unattainable and precious crystalline form of life-giving water; funny how it never comes to us but in the coldest of climes; and then, when the perfect moment comes, all drift down in mighty cascades of white gold that collapse power lines and turn automobiles into silent mounds of icing-laid cake.
Here in Singapore one wonders how the Northerners in their think parkas must feel, freezing in their little log-cabins, crouching around a fire crackling merry warmth. And yet the cold is its own magic, the silence broken only by wind and the little gusts of white swriling around the conifers. I always imagine the breathy whisper of branches and the almost-silent drift of floating flakes. The feeling of dusk at winter and the deepening blue lit, perhaps, by shimmering carpets of the Aurora Borealis at latitudes far removed from here, dancing life's joy, celebrating the misty snowy night. At times I think of a snowtopped mountain amidst a mighty cluster of peaks, snowcapped and covered in pristine perfect snow; every footstep an ecstasy, a perfectly crafted print that marrs the smooth surface of the white, fine snow that crumbles like sand in gloved fingers, cyan cloudless sky and sun above, craggy peak and blinding snow below, or a vast canvas of starry night that enshrouds the sleeping world in soft night's chime.
I have felt snow, handled it. It was a novel and wonderful experience. It is almost what I experienced in my daydreams, albeit real snow is rather colder and icier than I would like. In towns, much of it is dirty. But pristine snow on mountains, brilliant blue sky dividing the world in two, white and blue. Now, that was postcard perfect in my dreams. Too bad I have a predilection for altitude sickness.
Those who live among snow must feel the strain of cold, must be tired of gazing at the mountains, perhaps wishing for a warmer clime, among palm fronds and iced cocktails and sandy beaches. I love palm trees and coconut trees; they seem exotic to me, and, like elm and maple, are living art, sculptures that grow, statues that change. But I, too yearn for winter and cold, for snow and blue sky and chilling wind and mountain air.
It is an escapist fantasy perhaps, but nonetheless it speaks to me in my mind, dances with my dreams, beckons to me with the promise of the blue skies, that empyrean ocean of wonder.