The magic of snow

I’m just back from a walk in the almost dark in the almost snow; the kind of snow that gets you wet rather quickly since it comes down in great sloppy pancakes that stick to all your clothing…and it was really rather magical.

It was a reluctant walk to start with; one of those that every dog-owner has on days when they are so preoccupied with doing other things that they think they resent the interruption of wrapping up to go out in the cold. At least I pushed through it and was quickly prepared to own that I had been mistaken in my grumble of “I just don’t need this today”; this walk, in the premature darkness and the softening effect of the snow, was just the right thing. After all, how often does it snow here; I can’t remember the last time I got to walk in it. I had also forgotten its unfamiliar magic; how unfamiliarity (and the unplanned interruption to what we think we want to be doing) is, sometimes, just what we needed most.

Because this is such a familiar walk, a short distance from my house, across a common, through woods, up a hill with, normally, a view; yet I could do it in my sleep…sometimes feel as though I do sleepwalk it, at least when I’m distracted.

This time, due to the darkening effect of the weather, the big white house on the hill was all lit-up against the dusk and, skimmed by a field that was already turned into a blanket of white, for all the snow was so wet, seemed quite transformed by the timeless quality this turn in the weather had given to it. Although, close-up, I knew its glowing yellow interiors are really a collection of office spaces with flickering strip-lights and metal filing cabinets, from this distance, behind the snow-flurry, I conjured up a world of swinging lanterns and carriages at midnight, as it once might have been after some evening gathering or other.

This brought to mind the reminiscences of a friend I once had, who said she had gone there for tea with her mother, oh, forty or more years ago and been taken up to an old-fashioned nursery in the attic, with the children of the family, presided over by a uniformed nanny; imagine! When the last time was that I had recalled that particular nugget, I really don’t know but the way I was now seeing the old house, built to feminine specifications as a dowager house, offered new depth to the sterile modern reality of a building whose innate beauty is seldom seen or appreciated any more, I strongly suspect. It was like opening a box of perception to “see” all of this as though transported, from just a few moments stood softening my gaze on a snowy hill; and I was only just warming up…

The pathway through the woods was eerie, its landmarks all but vanished, its length seeming longer with my sensory cues all-but scrambled away by weather and dark. I became aware (more than seeing them) of birds flitting into foliage, hunkering down for the night ahead; and I knew, from experience, that deer would be very close since this is where I go to meet them. Yet, beyond such associations, the new timeless quality persisted as though these conditions took away all linearity from these familiar places. I could have been here at literally any time, without all my familiar prompts, and all such times seemed to converge in a way that, actually, spoke such simplicity, like these woods had been stripped back to their very essence.

I became so aware that I was feeling the energy of the place so much more than using my five other senses; yes, this was certainly true. Then, what I felt came up at me in layers which synchronised in ways that weren’t reliant on chronology or intellect, as though things in common across vast eons, such as the feeling of snowfall on trees in this or a similar place, were speaking much louder to me than what happened just a moment ago; like portals in the multidimensional fabric. Perhaps, to have been such a trigger, snow in a dark woodland setting is much more familiar to me than I know…

I struggle to write more at this point because what I convey here in words is just the tiniest fraction of what I felt tuned-into as I walked that path into the steady white curtain of snowflakes against the barest outline of trees. Really, there is no conveying the richness of such unconstrained sensory experiences though there is very little to “see” with the eyes; they are like a synesthesia explosion that is quite particular to the needlepoint, across multi-timelines, that our unique consciousness is.

As I made my way back to the road and the crash-back into twenty-first century cues, all the horses in the last field were gathered together for shelter, like the spokes of a wheel, beneath a giant redwood; their snow-skittish silhouettes against the navy-blue sky the very last thing I saw before climbing the stile. I felt myself breathe in the sight for the faction of an extra moment before bracing myself to confront the onslaught of “reality” once I reached the roadside; a pinprick to my bubble.

A walk like this, gilded by the brushstrokes of relative unfamiliarity, can take you out of yourself and remind you of currents outside of the sequential. Snow happens so infrequently here…as I said; so, perhaps, there is an especial magic that occurs when it suddenly does, like a blanket thrown over the too-familiar, or, at least, a prompt to experience outside the box. Though it had been less than an hour, the experience felt (longer isn’t the right word…) much deeper than that and I now return to my work refreshed and yet subtly altered, as though I have been on an adventure outside of the supposed sequence of my day, which has grown my awareness in immeasurable ways.

Perhaps the softness of the unexpected snowfall was a cue to soften my own benchmarks; to allow other experiences in to those that are expected and which, therefore, tend to filter out most of what we could potentially “see” in any given circumstance. It’s a sensory muscle worth exercising; one that gains tone the more we stop expecting anything at all…a reminder to myself.

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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8 Responses to The magic of snow

  1. cathytea says:

    Oh, thank you for writing this! I was there with you, while reading, and you transported me to that beyond time melding of all time. I realized, too, that this is what I have been feeling in my waking moments: that timelessness of sleep somehow continuing with me into the day, so that the veil of time is quite transparent and I need to rely heavily on executive functioning tricks to perform the tasks presented to me. It’s so easy to become entirely immersed in the present activty. Do you think this permeability of time is connected to the present transition of earth and human consciousness?


    • Helen White says:

      Absolutely, I really do…Part of this is the transition into a crystaline structure which, as it were, brings everything that might once have felt external and objectified into an internal/subjective-personal focus (like we have literally experienced it all ourselves) which, actually, then spirals out to become a universal feeling, as in we ALL have had all of these experiences…thus we are all connected, have all played all the roles, experienced all the layers, crossing over with each other ceaselessly and repeatedly, to the point everything feels familiar somehow. Realising this in some memorably tangible ways is how we get to sense the upgrade we are undergoing right now. Yet all of this is felt as a deep “knowing” that defies words or explanation. Its funny as the book I am currenly reading tries to suggest that as we become more crystal in our structure, symbols made up of shapes and colour etc become less necessary/meaningful and therefore, by extrapolation, you could assume that synesthesia is made somehow primative/obsolete by this since it is all about attaching meaning to “abitrarily” connected sensory data. I am finding the reverse to be true….that my synesthesia never felt more alive or relevant to me but it is far less reliant on sensory objects, colour and form etc now but, rather, seems to mix up and cross-reference frequencies, points in time, layers of subtle (to the point of being inexplicable) experiences and so on and yet, when I encounter these convergeances (as on my walk) the meaning that comes forth is more real, somehow, than anything in my more-physical day to day experience. Its as though having synesthesia all these years taught me the ropes (how to pay attention to a bizarre mixture of data, noticing patterns, and then allow my intuition to derive meaning from what might, from an intellect point of view, seem like utter nonsense…) This is not about me having some special ability (I am just the lifelong noticer of these traits) and I think more and more people will start to evolve these enhancements now….just as soon as they are open to having them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cathytea says:

        Yes, I agree with you about the synesthesia! For me, I experience much “loss of self” in that I seem to be stretching out beyond the physical boundaries… what you describe about the sensory feeling of being connected resonates very much with me. At the same time, I’m feeling tremendous flow of energy throughout my body, specifically the lower chakras. I am relying on music (Bach, specifically, who always brings my neurology into sync) and on sunlight (which helps the resonance of my cells) currently to help consolidate and integrate my sensory experiences, providing grounding. I think I will add breath to that, now that I think about it! 🙂


      • Helen White says:

        Interesting as I feel “going crystal” requires that we tackle (whatever our version of ) merging the four elements is, possibly in a synethesia kind-of way if that’s how we operate (and it certainly helps). Seems like you are working with at least three of them there (fire, earth and air). I can identify how I played such a lot with balancing water, fire and air a couple of years ago…that was my auyurveda phase, it was a helpful tool…and then the trick was to bring them all home/to earth as me (ground them). Once those are all not only balanced but in some sort synesthesia-type soup together, it feels like you are getting somewhere very different.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cathytea says:

        Hmmm… water is my most dominant element. I wonder if I’m just pulling the others in the mix? (I’ve also been living in the desert for the past two decades! LOL!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Helen White says:

        Yep you could be, I almost asked you what is it about you and water as I bet there’s something 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful writing Helen, I was with you in the magic of the dark and the snow, walking between worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

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