online:9 february 2009
modified: 8 february 2009

8 february 2009 in the thaw

on West Heath

...i struggled to walk here on muddy paths and melting snow... surprised to find unmelted snow around an enclosed pond that is still frozen... there the snow surface is still unbroken as it was after the snowfalls six days ago... a fragment of that new world in which restraints were relaxed and in which beauty and playfulness emerged... i put my writing hand to warm up in my pocket while i await whatever thoughts or events will occasion whatever words will come next...

...i am surrounded by bare trees and dead undergrowth... a tall fern stalk sways in the slight wind from the south west as do the branches of a holly tree... the snow at my feet is turning to water and what remains is no longer white but a watery grey with a visible structure of almost hexagonal cells like a honeycomb in its icy interior... and there are large holes in the snow through which grass and fallen leaves can be seen again...

...people are attempting to sledge or to toboggan on the slopes of the nearby park and others are walking or running on slippery ground... most of them are dressed in winter clothing but a few are in running clothes... my hand felt cold again i stopped writing and walked towards a bus stop... i was surprised to see no snow whatever on the main road, not even on the pavement... apparently a little salt (and perhaps the heat emitted by buildings?) is enough to return that cold new world into this warmer one that we regard as normality... a month, or even less, these frozen trees and undergrowths will i suppose come to life again... and again the seasonal change will seem miraculous... or will there be further climate changes that will contradict our expectations this year?... i've just heard a radio warning of another severe snowstorm that is expected to arrive in Britain tomorrow night...

...yes i like very much to be thinking and writing of the weather!

for comfortable line length set the window to about two-thirds of the screen width


© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 john chris jones

You may transmit this text to anyone for any non-commercial purpose if you include the copyright line and this notice and if you respect the copyright of quotations.

If you wish to reproduce any of this text commercially please send a copyright permission request to jcj 'at' (replace 'at' and spaces by the @ sign)