So now, this country that we call the United Kingdom, is covered in snow. Pristine, white, beautiful snow. Cleansing snow that wipes the slate clean, and gives off a magnificent light. White, innocent and child-like in one way, dangerous and menacing in another. Boughs and branches bend with its weight, roofs of outbuildings cave in, it stops the traffic, it blocks the flow of people's lives. Not so friendly and magical now. When it melts, all will be worse. Mud, slush, mess, debris and damage await us.
But early this morning I was out walking with my dog. He gambolled, sniffed and played, and I looked out over the fields. White as far as I could see, barely a mark blotting the surface of the landscape. I stared too long and for a moment I was blinded by the bright, white light. It reminded me of the light that those who have narrowly escaped death, talk of having been invited into, but from which they turned and withdrew at the last minute.
I blinked and looked at the fields again, and thought of the crops and plants in stasis beneath. Was the snow bringing us a moment of death? In grinding our daily lives to a halt, in hiding our world under a beautiful shroud or blanket, just as we cover the faces of people in death, in reducing us to carefully putting our feet one in front of the other lest we fall over, it is stopping us in our tracks. Hello, it says, this is not All There Is. For look, it says, how can it be so important, look how easily it disappears.