Tuesday, February 03, 2009

There's Sno Business like Snow Business

There are people who live in houses next to me that I have never seen before; they must drive everywhere, I think. They are out, smoking, watching the woman two doors down chipping the ice from her drive in a futile effort to get to work. Because no-one is driving, people are using the road as a pedestrian highway.
I remember this from the early 90s when Camberwell New Road was frozen over and the whole area was silent. No cars, no fumes, no lorries thundering past the windows. I went out and walked to the Oval, past a gaggle of pensioners stolidly heading to the Post-Office. How lovely it was! A big wide road, iced thickly. The air was dense with cold and the trees were weighted down and bunched with branch loads of frozen snow. Thick white flakes falling and absorbing everything that looked or sounded sharp for miles and miles. You could crunch along the pavements (or where you thought they were) or choose to navigate the middle of the road, and you could feel yourself expanding and relaxing.
You don't even realise that living in an environment of constant fast, deafening traffic makes you withdraw into yourself like a snail into its shell.
Silence, silence, silence, nature has taken control. Hurrah!
My favourite image of yesterday was actually the TV footage someone had sent in of a lop-eared rabbit hungrily munching its way through a snowball. Every so often, it rolled the snowball towards itself to munch on a fresh bit, and you could hear its enthusiastic teeth as it gobbled its way through the icy delight.


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