It was the cat meowing out in the hallway that woke me up on Christmas morning. My presents lay in a neat pile in a corner of my room, unwrapped the evening before after our Danish Christmas dinner and our traditional dance around the candle lit tree. The calling of the cat made me get out of bed and into the hallway, where I picked her up. It wasn’t until I turned around that I realised what had happened over night/during at the night/until I saw.
Soft, large snowflakes was falling quietly down from a cloudy sky, the bright whiteness of the snow reflected in the impenetrable clouds. Over night, sometime in the 8 hours when we had been asleep, a fine layer of snow had laid over everything, on the whithered pot plants and herb bushes in our small garden, on top of the garden’s wooden fence and on the branches of the tall trees in the playground on the other side of it, a layer that grew thicker and thicker as I stood looking out the window.
Ever since I landed back in Denmark the weather forecast information had been telling us all that there was absolutely as good as 0% chance of snow. So imagine my surprise when, after going to bed the night before, after a full day of ceaseless, gloomy rain, I woke up to look out at the most magical winter wonderland landscape.
I hurried downstairs to put on my boots and my red winter coat, grabbed my dad’s camera and walked outside, still in pyjamas and with tousled, unbrushed morning hair. The door closed behind me with a muted thump. It felt unreal to breathe in the fresh, frosty air, feel the cold nip at my cheeks, making them rosy and to feel, and see the big, soft snowflakes land on my hair, my shoulders and my arms, as I photographed our street; afraid that if I blinked and didn’t photograph it right then, it would melt and dissapear before my eyes.
I stood on the empty street watching the snow fall on the dark pavement, transforming everything, making it appear like an old black and white photograph. Snow does something to a landscape. It puts it on hold, keep it in stillness and dress it in silence, the soft snow falling muting all sounds. It wipes the landscape clean. The white, yet untouched snow on the street creaked under my boots as I pressed down on it, marking the whiteness with a trail of my footprints, as if saying “Lea was here”.
Waking up to that first, so unexpected snow of the year, falling on Christmas Day. It felt like nothing but magic, a small Christmas miracle. *