Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First and unexpected snow

This morning, the first snow of the year fell out of the murk and settled upon Oslo. It dusted my spire, alit on the naked branches of the birch trees, gathered in the lingering willow leaves and draped itself over the lawn of the park outside like a light blanket.

It won't last, I know, because the days are not cold enough yet. But the first snow is special.

In my world, the first snow is of vital importance, almost as important as snow on Christmas Eve, the significance of which is all but immeasurable. Here's a little passage from chapter five, The Heart of Winter, (and forgive the hasty translation):

"- Of all the creatures of Yulevale, the Winter Princes are the most enigmatic. They look like humans, but are not, because they are born of ice and their souls are wrought from it. Without them, there would be no Christmas, no matter how hard petlings and teddyfolk work to make it so, said Theodor.

- You see, the Winter Princes are guardians of rare treasures, beautiful snow globes which they carry in their arms when they emerge from the ice, and which they keep close to their heart always. These globes are magical, very magical, because they have the power to make it snow on Earth.

- But I thought snow came with low pressures and cold fronts, said Lin, who was not the daughter of Herold Rosenquist for nothing.

- That is true, said Theodor with a small chuckle. – But sometimes there is unexpected snow, snow which causes meteorologists to frown and mutter. And it happens like this: The Winter Prince chooses a place in your world, perhaps Paris, and holds it in his mind. At once, a tiny Paris appears in the globe, with the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Élysées and a miniature Seine. Then the Prince shakes the globe, so that snow flakes swirl around the small buildings inside. At that exact moment, it starts snowing in the real Paris, the city you know on Earth.

Thousands of Parisian children watch the snow flakes drift and dance down from the skies. Some look out of their windows, others run around in the streets, catching flakes on the tips of their tongues. All of them are filled with a wild happiness, for while grown ups fret over slippery roads and driveways that must be cleared, children feel only joy when there is unexcpected snow."

Now, this is not my imaginary world, and there are no Winter Princes. But I still say that the first snow is special, and that it grants one wish to those who feel only joy at the sight of it.

I've made mine. Don't forget to.


Li:ne said...

When I came out in the backyard this morning (after a chaotic hour with uncooperative mascara and a small oatmeal catastrophe in the microwave), I heard children laughing and whooping. Any other wednesday morning it would be quiet and empty as usual, with only the cats about. But not today. It really is special.

Laini Taylor said...

Well, you don't know there are no Winter Princes. There could be, and they could have held Oslo in their snow globes! I hope the Winter Princes will think of Portland this year -- I long for a good white snowfall covering everything!

Heidi said...

SNOW! I love it so very much, but sadly don't see it as often as I'd like. It's been a few years since we had snow on Christmas, but I've got my fingers crossed for this year. Sigh. Norway just sounds like some imaginary perfect place where everyone and everything is pretty and it always snows on Christmas. Only it's not imaginary. I can't wait to visit.

tone almhjell said...

Oh, Heidi, I wish that were true. Oslo often sees snow in December, but we always celebrate on the coast, in Kristiansund, where my mother lives.

No snow for two years know. But I'm sort of hoping Dad (who I think was some sort of meteorological spirit) will bring us some this year.