The rooftops, the ground, the treetops glimmer and sparkle in the pale yellow streetlight. The world glows, even though the sun won’t be up for another hour; like an expectant mother, radiance comes from within. All is pristine, a clean new slate. Waking up on a chilly morning, peeping through the curtains at the outside world and seeing the everyday transformed into a landscape that’s totally different to when you went to bed a few hours ago is special.
It doesn’t snow often in the South West of the U.K., and when it does the feeling of joy it creates is significant. Snow makes everything that is familiar, unfamiliar. Your own front path becomes territory untrodden by human feet, each new step claiming the unspoilt white carpet as your own. Like an explorer venturing into undiscovered territory, the eyes widen and the feet advance slowly, unsure of how to navigate this strange new terrain.
The simplest of things signal that you are in a foreign land. Footsteps that usually thud, thud, thud, thud along the pavement become inaudible, their sound deadened by the cotton wool underfoot.
Perspective is altered too, as the heart skips and the mouth widens into a grin. This strange new world brings new possibilities: snowballs, snowmen, snow angels. Childlike, we wander through a theme park of joy, eager to discover what treats await us.
Of course travels into winter wonderlands can never last forever, and in this part of the world they come to an end quicker than most. The snow melts, the pristine blankets recede, put away in the cupboard until next winter, and we are transported back to a land we know well.