Brighter Ground than Sky


It snowed and it looks like it’s more or less permanent for the season. There’s a coat of bright white everywhere that traffic hasn’t tainted into puddles of brown slush. Having lived through thirty previous winters I am prepared for the months of sub-zero temperatures to come and welcome them – for the snow accompanied literally brings more light to my life.

We’re already stuck with the longer nights. Weather won’t sway that seasonal change as it may with other winterness like aerial migration. Settled snow on the ground makes the nights feel more alive even with the wind compounding the cold for still inhospitable outdoors. The nocturnal lighting provided by street lamps in an urban setting or simply the moon or stars away from civilization bounces off the bright white snow.

In the day time it’s blinding. I wear sunglasses more in the winter than the summer as even cloudy days are too bright for my sensitive green eyes. In the day time I will be on the move to and from work or errands (although significantly less of a burden than most others at this time, opting out of the traditional gifts-for-each Christmas exchange) and sheltered from the excess. But now that there’s snow on the ground, hopefully my nights will feel more alive. Hopefully I won’t feel like it’s time to wrap up consciousness at 6:30 in the evening. Hopefully when I run (and as running is fairly new for me, I’ll hopefully adapt the traction required to not break some part of my body) I will feel a safer sense of surroundings and a greater motivation to keep running to maintain personal heat.

In such a festive city at such a festive time of year, there’s special snowflake and mistletoe lighting attached to lamp posts down the major streets surrounding me. As cheesy as the decorations are, beyond consumer holidays they come in tandem with natural lighting and make good partners in a beautiful cityscape. As much as our winters are mocked, there’s something magical the climates too warm are missing.


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