It was one of the most glorious sunrises I can remember seeing, and I have spent a fair number of dawns obsessing over and photographing the riot of colours I see outside my window! It’s got to the point where I’m embarrassed to share the pictures with friends and family. Here she goes again…
But, this one was special. The intensity of each colour was striking in the glorious vista that spilled as far as the eye could see. There was a symmetry in the way the clouds framed the rising ball of flame, dissipating into gossamer wisps as they rose further. The yellows and the oranges melted to bleed into shades of pink as they rose higher against the backdrop of the azure skies.
Wanting to bask in these golden rays, I promptly set off for the park. Early sunday morning would mean an empty park. Which it was, but the sun had also decided to play peek a boo with the clouds! Par for the course though, given the vagaries of weather my city is famed for.
It was freezing out there, belying the warmth of earlier. That warmth had been a momentary aberration I realised as the day wore on. There had been significant overnight frost and large swathes of grass lay stretched out with the glistening white vying with the green. It was very still and even the leaves on the trees remained unmoving. Almost like they were waiting for what was to come. My gloved fingers were losing feeling rapidly, yet I was reluctant to cut short my walk. It just felt so invigorating being out there.
The water in the pond barely had any ripples on it. Most of the ducks had wisely tucked into themselves on the grassy shores, with some waddling around giving me baleful looks for intruding in their space. I like to keep a respectful distance from them in winter, having been chased by a couple of them when I ran out of bread, and they hadn’t run out of hunger! Luckily it had been an early winter morning on that day as well, many years back. So, no witnesses to my mortification!
An hour or so after I got back home, I saw some flurries float by outside, gaining momentum rapidly as the wind tossed them about. It was such a thrilling feeling looking at them. We don’t get much snow here, and not every winter. The snow shower continued for a few hours. Which meant the flakes settled on the ground as the world turned pristine white. The sky remained ominous, quite a contrast from what it was at dawn, and I couldn’t see very far into the distance. But, the sheer whiteness of the snow lit up the ground.
It wasn’t long before the shrieking and laughter of gaggles of children wafted up from all around as they poured out of their homes. Running around, slipping, making snowmen even though the snow was fairly powdery and there wasn’t an awful lot of it. I didn’t even know there were so many kids in the vicinity! We have been in lockdown since forever, and this must have felt like being liberated from a cell for them.
Snowfall brings with it a strange silence. And the sounds of joy that rent this silence was so uplifting. It made me reflect how the simplest of things can bring such joy in even these most trying of times. The snow was gone as quickly as it came. Leaving the streets silent and deserted again with icy little patches to catch the unwary. And dotted with droopy blobs of what were snowmen, made lovingly by little and large hands yesterday. A reminder of the unexpected happiness that was showered on us briefly. But, it also left behind ringing sounds in my head. Sounds of untrammelled happiness.
The last few months have had the dark shadow of grief creep into every crevice of our life. Maybe that’s why I was so moved by a simple snow shower. It may sound whimsical but it gladdened my heart immensely. Seeing the simple and innocent joy in the beauty nature bestows on us. Seeing shiny eyes raised heavenward, willing that snowflake to land on an upturned face.
Especially when it’s so unexpected.