It is winter and everyone around me is pretty excited because we Vancouverites are expecting a lot of snow this season. Most of us who come from warm, humid climates have an inherent fascination for snow. However we were terribly disappointed last year when the season never began and thereby never ended. The image of a soft snow flake taking eternity to travel from the heaven down to my waiting hand titillated my senses, but it was not to be.
However this winter I did not share the excitement. Instead I was terrified. It so happened that in the month of July, me and my friend Xiaolei decided to climb the Goat Mountain. A 3 hr hike from the top of Grouse Mountain it seemed rather trivial to us, experienced hikers. We climbed over Grouse and after a short break proceeded to Goat. It was summer and it was sunny. I was wearing my half pants and a thin blue t-shirt. Half way to the peak we encountered snow. We were ‘pleasantly’ surprised. Snow on a steep slope with no equipment is not the best hiking situation. With a lot of work we reached the top and on our way back Murphy’s Law was upon us. Going down a slope with snow on it is far more troublesome. We kept sliding down. The reflex action was to plant our hands in the snow but soon the hands were burning terribly. Thankfully there were some trees around which saved us many a times from the verge of death… I remember that as soon as my cellphone had network, I called my mother and told her “Maa, mein zinda hun…” (Mother, I am alive.)
Anyhow, the point of this story is that snow is beautiful; indeed the beauty of the place was doubled by the presence of snow but more importantly snow can be quite scary.
With this mindset I approached winter. There was a little snow on Thursday. Something like https://nishantchandgotia.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/and-it-snowed/ . I was happy. But then, Friday became colder and the weather gradually became worse. We were out for shopping and I cursed my way back. Snow started falling harder. After a while, I looked outside.My surroundings were covered with a blanket of snow. I stepped out bare foot, wearing a towel and an undershirt.
Suddenly I received a call from Gourab that he was locked outside his house. I rushed outside wearing slippers and putting on a woolen jacket. I met Kundan on the way and we decided this is a good time for a walk. So at 11:45, we managed to get Gourab inside his house and together we went out for a walk.
As we walked on we were once caught in a snow ball fight and met quite a few familiar faces :
We walked to the clearing near the Chancellor Boulevard then walked up the Rose Garden. The scenery was astounding but a mobile camera is too crude to capture what was there.
This reminds me of a very famous impromptu poetry by someone I know very well.
You know it was raining quite a lot some days back,
I was with my daughter and walking in a park.
There was a puddle ahead of us,
She splashed in the puddle like this,
And she splashed around it like that,
And for that moment I forget that it was raining.
The atmosphere around me had taken over my negativity regarding snow. Drenched, cold and shivering I was in love.
I returned at 2:45 , its 3 o’clock right now and I am lying in my blanket, eating Maggi and typing this out. I cannot be happier.
As expected I was out again this morning(Saturday). Xiahu and Zhengzheng wanted to build a snowman. Beginners in this art, we tried making a dancing lady.
It is very silly where I derive pleasure from. I sometimes wonder at my lack of ambition and disability at prioritising. But you know what, I don’t care. At least not till I am happy and alive.
Talking of happiness:
Where the Sidewalk Ends
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.