Friday, October 16, 2009

The First Snow!

It's hard for me, in this blog, to not just let pictures do the talking. I take so many and that's how I documented Korea, but I am committed to actually writing this time. When people ask me my hobbies, I am so hesitant to say that I write. I don't write books, I don't write stories. I write blogs and journals and letters. But I do so with such fervor and dedication. Tweets can take me up to 20 minutes to perfect. A seven sentence LJ post might take the better part of an evening. So it's kind of ironic that in the last post, I was preaching the values of non-verbal communication when words are of such importance to me. I guess you have to find the proper balance.

Yesterday was the first snow in Kolín. I grant you that it did not accumulate, but it did snow most of the day and at times it was quite difficult to see. My camera did not capture it well because the snowflakes melted on the lens, but above was my walk to work. I cross this river every day, next to the oldest power plant in the CR. I've only lived places where I could walk to a fairly substantial body of water (the Long Island Sound, Connecticut River, Sincheon, Lake Champlain) if you don't count those few months in DeKalb. I guess it shouldn't be surprising because civilizations tend to spring up near bodies of water. But I don't understand how one could live without one.

You can kind of see the flurries in this picture of the corner near school. Since the weather hasn't been so agreeable, we've only been taking walks around the block instead of going to the park before lunch. On yesterday's walk, the little ones spent a lot of time sticking out their tongues and trying to catch snowflakes. It wasn't hard because the flakes were big globs of snow. I wished that I remembered the words to that Barney song, all I could remember was the part about rain, not the part about snow. I tried to make up my own in my head, If all the snowflakes were sugar-cubes and honey-cakes were the best I came up with. (As it turns out, it is "If all the snowflakes were candy bars and milkshakes" but I kind of like honey-cakes better, even if it doesn't fit the meter.)

Every morning, we put up the day and weather on this calendar that I designed. I'm pretty proud of it, and also the fact that it helped me learn the ever-so-useful Czech word suhízip, or Velcro. The kids love doing the weather. "Is it... sunny out?" "Nooooooo!" I had to take a picture of October 15th, the weather is snowy.

It had stopped snowing for part of the day and I was sad to take a train to Prague in the rain. But as we passed the fields and small villages that cover the 50 or so miles between Kolín and Prague, the rain turned back into snow! While most people wouldn't count that as a change for the better, I relished it. I opened the window to the bitter cold and stuck my head outside to snap a photo. Rain is so dreary and depressing, but snow always feels hopeful to me. There, is of course, the nostalgia of playing in snow as a child and the thought that with snow comes Christmas, but there's more to it than that. While rain assaults you, burrowing through your layers and soaking you to the core, snow tends to just land on top and you can easily brush it off. You only end up a little damp from snow, instead of completely soaked. Also, rain adds to the noise of city life, while snow muffles the sounds. Everything is so peaceful and quiet in the snow. With the first snow in this little town, I can honestly say that I am so happy to be here. I don't want to go home. This is the first time since I graduated that I have actually liked a place I've lived, no less loved it.

I think I am going to be spending a long time looking like this. Totally content in my little compartment on the train, imagining each new day on this adventure.

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