online: 19 december 2010
modified: 19 december 2010

19 december 2010 outofdoors

in 10 centimetres of snow

...after walking to and in the city forest i'm sitting at a bus stop to write this... (seats in the forest were too snowy to sit on)...

...first impression was of the intense whiteness... such that white-painted fencing looks pale yellowy grey... then the depth of the snow in places up to 10 or more cm... and the squeaky crunch of the soft snow compressing at each step of my walking shoes... and then the loss of mobility, being held tight within layers of clothing especially legs in 2 layers, feet in 3 and body in 5 or 6... (i read somewhere that the moon-landing space suits had 15 layers and cost several millions)

...there is a white-painted house opposite me now and in this white reflected light it looks the palest greeny yellow... while the road before me is black slush as partial melting turns the snow into a brown-black semi-liquid... wrting hand is now freezing so i decide to take the next bus (having let several go by as i continued writing)...

...but before catching a bus i went to see children and adults tobogganing in the park on all sorts of sledges from classic wooden to plastic pans or pieces just large enough to sit on and some kids in rectangular sharp-edged plastic boxes that rotated as they slid with occupant helpless to control direction of motion or orientation...

...but the forest itself through which i walked was so different from these urban accidents of snow-plus-people-vehicles-roads-and-houses etc all in new juxtapositions... the trees now carrying slightly melting snow, and the crunching snow beneath the feet of walkers combine to make a natural architecture of blacks and greens and whites... a holy spaceland newly shaped and coloured by this sudden transformation... back in heated air i write more words while looking out again at the mini-wood or cherry orchard outside the window... each tree is still loaded with white softness that melts a little but does not fall (as wind speed is still almost zero)... but now for lunch (leek and potato soup and cheese and spelt bread from the freezer... plus dried dates, dried banana and other dried fruits to complete it)...

...i realise now that this was my first city forest walk for several weeks (for two of which i was ill in bed) and had i not walked outofdoors today i might have lost the habit that sustains this diary... believing myself to be unable... what nonsense!

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