Thursday, January 6, 2011

Outdoors in the snow

It’s been snowing for the past few days in Oslo and there has been a fair amount of accumulation—about a foot or more in some places. The snow is dry and powdery, not wet and heavy, so it’s perfect for skiing but not for building a snowman. That’s what Mara and I discovered when we decided to spend part of our lunchtime today making a snowman. I bought a bag of carrots so that we could use one for its nose, and some chocolate balls for the eyes and mouth. We weren’t quite sure where we were going to build it—around the corner from our lab building was one idea. So it was somewhat disappointing to not be able to build a snowman because the snow wouldn’t pack well. We ended up taking a walk instead. It was snowing a bit and it was really nice to be outdoors.

Don’t ask me to explain what has happened, but the woman who doesn’t really like the cold and the snow has discovered that she ‘kinda sorta’ likes them this year. Strangely enough, it’s not difficult to admit it. I like being out in the cold air where I can breathe. I like walking outside when it is snowing, especially at night when the falling snow glitters in the lights from the streetlamps. Walking anywhere these days is pleasant—because it’s freedom. I have also discovered that I can run in the snow with really good boots (that grip the snow)—I finally own a pair and it’s a whole new world. I’m not slipping and sliding like I used to. Walking along the Akerselva river after it has snowed is very pleasant. I haven’t cross-country skied in years after hurting my back some years ago, but I think I want to try that again. Anything that gets my body moving and outdoors. It’s one reason I really don’t like going to the gym anymore. The machines are fine for training, but I miss training and being outdoors and breathing in the fresh air. I read an article recently that said much the same—that people who trained derived much greater benefit from training outdoors than they did from being in a gym. It makes sense to me. The snow makes me feel like a kid again—I would love to grab a sleigh and go sledding, build a snowman, make angels in the snow, run and walk and throw snowballs (I do that already with my husband), build a fort like we did when we were kids, and so much more. Or I’d like to find my little haven of peace under the snow-laden branches of the trees like I did when I was a kid—sit under them protected, away from the world at large, and just enjoy the peace. I’m definitely going to do some of these things. So if you see angels in the snow somewhere, they might just be made by me—“of the angels”. And I have a feeling we'll definitely get a chance to build at least one snowman this winter. 

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