Wednesday, February 4, 2009

White Light, Crystalized and Fluffy



"The white bees are swarming," said the old Grandmother.
"Do they have a queen too?" asked Kai, for he knew that real bees have such a ruler.
"Yes they have," said the old woman. "She always flies right in the center of the swarm, where the most snowflakes are. She is the biggest of them all, but she never lies down to rest as the other snowflakes do. No, when the wind dies she returns to the black clouds. Many a winter night she flies through the streets of the town and looks in through the windows; then they become covered by ice flowers."
"Yes, I've seen that!" said first one child and then the other; and now they knew that what the Grandmother said was true.


--from The Snow Queen* by Hans Christian Andersen

I love snow, I always have, even when I lived at Lake Tahoe where we received an average of eighteen feet every winter. It always feels like a blessing to me, including situations during which there's enough of it to make my beloved routines inconvenient. I actually like shoveling, I have excellent clothing technology in my wardrobe to keep me dry and warm. What's not to love? After a walk through the snow, there's nothing that makes me happier than tucking myself inside the house, making soup, watching the white stars fall and settle.

I love the crunch of snow underfoot, the way dogs leap and play in it, the communities of snow people that rise all over Capitol Hill in the wake of the storm. I love the way snow softens sound, reduces traffic, and makes everything look better.

Possibly it's my vivid memory of all those lifetimes I had during the Ice Age that made me such a lover of snow. Who knows? Who cares? I'm happy today because it's snowing. I think that qualifies as a cheap thrill, yes? Oh yeah!

*As it turns out, the Snow Queen is not very nice. Great story, though.

31 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Such delight in snow - and I wrote this morning that I'm bored of it.
I'm churlish - it's very lovely indeed - it's just that NY gets so painfully cold.

Joanne said...

I love the snow, too. But I think what it really is that gets me is the change each season. From snow to golden sunshine, from brilliant foliage to new greens. It's pretty amazing.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I love the gathering clouds in the sky. It looks ominous, but no, it's just bringing beautiful snow. Don't get to experience snow very often here, but I do LOVE a chilly day!

Val said...

oh and i love snow too - magical winterwonderlands crunching underfoot and everything you said. and i went to lake tahoe once and was completely captivated by that lake. it was winter but we were only passing thru. i just wanted to stay.

Angela said...

My Younger Daughter used to make snow pigs. Much more creative than snow men. But I want spring now, and tulips and crocus. It`s too early, I know. And snow is nice and pretty, too.

Reya Mellicker said...

Snow pigs? How cool is that??

c james. said...

Yessssss! Snow! Having lived in Atlanta for over a year now (one of thousands of transplants from NYC), I never thought I'd miss snow, and your delightful thoughts on snow make me sad, - drats! But happy for you!

Oh well, at least The Capital of the South is in a bitter freeze for a few days this week, but alas, no snow in the forecast. And with some of the trees already revealing their precious buds, I fear Hot-weather-Hotlanta is just around the corner.

The Family Julz said...

I'm so glad it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round. Because if it were filled with beach bunnies like myself we'd all have a miserable existence come winter each year.

I'm praying tonight is our last freeze. We've only had 2. I'm ready to don the summer attire.

And I love HCA! Beautiful pics as always. I can love snow vicariously through you and your photographs!

willow said...

I adore snow. And winter, for that matter. It bores me when people complain of it. I am happy to report that we still have about six inches on the ground (melted down from 12). And it's a brisk and happy 10 degrees in Central Ohio this morning!

I have a favortie copy of The Snow Queen, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger.

Kim said...

Reya living in Texas now after living in Wyoming for 4 years makes "winter" a big failure. It has snowed here twice and the average temperature has been in the 60s. Thank you. I really needed that magical optimism that a fresh snow can bring you as I am in a spiritual winter trying to find my way back home in the blizzard.

Reya Mellicker said...

It's all over now ... just a sprinkling. It was fun while it lasted!

Reya Mellicker said...

Elizabeth - I love the word "churlish"

runmotman said...

the senses are so powerful : 'the crunch of snow underfoot' is a great/fun aural reminder ... takes me back , just to this morning actually !

Michelle Stiles said...

There is nothing like a fresh blanket of snow to cover the concrete jungle that often surrounds us.

ArtSparker said...

Snow can be quite warming, and the quiet that comes with it can give one a sense of being in a protected interior when one is outside. Assuming no icy winds.

Good time to rent the film "Snow Cake".

Bee said...

The Snow Queen was one of my favorite fairy tales. It has beautiful, sensuous descriptions; frightening, too, when Kai gets a splinter of ice lodged in his heart. Perhaps winter makes some people shrivel up in this way.

Cold and wet is boring, but snow is always magical. We are hoping for some more of it tonight!

Reya Mellicker said...

runmotman - Ah, the good old days ... this morning! As of this moment, 1 pm, all of ours have evaporated. Oh well.

I love The Snow Queen for so many reason. First of all I adore Hans Christian Andersen and his amazing ironic way of spinning tales. I love it that the "hero" of the story is a little girl who, by being herself, and crying a lot, saves her childhood friend. All the people who help her along the way are strong females, from the robber girl to the old shaman woman who writes on a piece of dried cod.

Even the bad guy is a woman, the Snow Queen herself.

Once upon a time I believe I wore a pair of glasses made out of that shattered Satanic mirror. It was a good thing to get new glasses, oh yeah!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

as one who loves snow, you sure would be having a mighty sweet time up here these days!!

for my lunch break, I realize perhaps I should go out do another round of shoveling.

nice to know someone else who says they love the snow....it is a much maligned form of weather....

Carolyn said...

I enjoy a good winter with lots of snow but when it's time to move on it's time, none of this dragging your snowflakes!
Beautiful cloud photos.
Smiles

Peggy said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Reya! Winter is my favorite season, although it's true that I wouldn't appreciate it as much without the other three. Up here in West Michigan we see an aveage of 92 inches of the white stuff a year. This year I'm happy to report over 110 inches with a full two months of winter to go! Although it has been a bitterly cold winter, I've enjoyed it nonetheless.

The Snow Queen is a wonderful fairy tale. As an adult, my favorite snow story is Aiken's "Silent Snow, Secret Snow." In fact, I think I'll go pull that off the bookshelf right now!

Sarah Laurence said...

What a dramatic sky! It’s a breath of cold fresh air reading a February post praising winter. You capture so well all there is to enjoy in snow. It must be lovely to see the Capitol in real winter. I love the light in winter and the freshness of snow too.

Lover of Life said...

We sure haven't had eighteen feet this year. Not much shoveling. Lake is low, but we are hoping for a big spring storm!

kathi said...

I had "ice flowers" on my windshield this morning...
so pretty. Love that book!

janis said...

Ooooo! You took my breath away with these photos!

Susan said...

I don't care how old I get (I'm 51)--there's always a sense of anticipation when it snows, the childish echo of snow days, freed from routine... I hope I never get too old to appreciate the beauty of branches edged with snow, and my yard strewn with glittery silver like fallen stardust.

Kerry said...

Oooh, Hans Christian Anderson; thank you. I love each season. I'm never ready for them to end.

Ronda Laveen said...

The clouds almost appear to be moving, propelled by the power and pregnant with the weight of the white bees.

Miranda said...

I also love the snow. I don't get to see it much though which makes it extra special when I do. The first time I saw snow I was about 18 and I was astonished at how SILENT it was! I'm used to big old god-brought-out-all- the-heavy-machinery lighting and thunder storms pounding on the tin roof but this was so peaceful. Do you get noisy snow storms??

A Cuban In London said...

After the heaviest snowfall in London for 18 years I have come to love snow. Many thanks for your beautiful post and lovely pictures.

Greetings from London.

Wildeve said...

I love the quote. I loved those stories as a child, and at the library yesterday I happened to see a new annonated volume of Hans Christian Anderson, and I just had to take it home and read "The Snow Queen" again. Thanks for the inspiration! Wonderful post.

lettuce said...

she's certainly not very nice!
that shard of ice in the heart...

HK Anderson often has that hard, almost cruel edge somewhere - but hard not to love him anyway