Marcel Proust once wrote that “a change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves”. He was right; nothing changes our group consciousness so entirely and immediately like the weather.
Yesterday, as snow started to fall across most of the UK, there was a tangible shift in people’s mood for the better. I watched as men abandoned the usual arm’s length distance we all tend to keep each other and helped to manoever wheel-spinning cars, or run to steady someone as they slipped in the drifting white stuff. Sledges came out, kids squealed in delight and adults abandoned their plans for the day, dressed up warm and went outside to play.
Snow reconnects us with nature in a profound way; it reignites our love for the outdoors. We want to be outside, to enjoy it. We carve snow into primitive sculptures, we build temporary shelters from it, we read the symbols wildlife leaves in it. We all become craftsmen, artists, trackers, warriors. But this is the mindset with which we should always approach nature. Regardless of season and weather, we belong in nature; it creates a physical and mental transformation in us. We go out in one frame of mind but always return richer.
Having started a walk as the first flakes fell, Rosie and I were lucky enough to have a front row seat as the landscape changed. A veil of grey descended and the soft fall floated down in silence. Bare oak boughs by the river seemed weighed down with the white; all became beautiful, painting-like. Snow has that levelling effect. It levels us too. We become closer to nature and closer to our real nature as a sociable animal, evolved to draw pleasure from our surroundings.
Perhaps we should all remember the joy of snow and aim to always view our landscapes as if a fresh covering of had just fallen.
- Rob -