We always say that Eskimos have a gazillion different words for snow, without thinking that maybe we have a number of English words for snow that we don’t really use. I ended up at Avalanche.org when I went in search of words to describe last week’s phenomenon.
We had not, in many days, and thankfully, had any more snow. And yet, the trees in the mountains and on the prairie were being covered in whiteness. One of the kinds of frost is called Rime, and it is the frost that forms during freezing fog, something we have often in this region of the country.
It hangs heavy on the trees, both deciduous and conifer.
It’s quite strikingly beautiful, though it blots out much of the landscape.
It’s like Narnia here sometimes . . . it’s already been Christmas . . . now it will always be Christmas.
I think that’s the thing about living this far north . . . we’re at such an extreme. It feels, today, like it’s always been winter, and that it has never been summer, and might never be. It feels like we shall always been in short, dark days.
It’s not true, of course. We’re gaining light hand over fist this time of year, and we will soon be back to the oppressively sunny days of our summer, when the sun comes up at 3am and hardly ducks behind the last mountain by 10pm. We’ll be up early and stay up late, and wonder if the sun will ever give us a rest.
But all of this makes me understand the celebration of the solstice and the equinox. We come slamming so quickly out of summer into the darkness of winter here. We hibernate and close ourselves in, tucked away by the fire, hopefully with enough wood put up to keep us warm through the long, cold, darkness of winter.