Somehow I’ve come this far in life without ever having seen snow. I know, right? Well, truth be told, I saw it in New Zealand earlier this year but it was on a distant mountain top so that doesn’t really count.
A few weeks back it randomly started snowing in patches all over the eastern states of Australia. It fell on the day I was to travel over the Blue Mountains and out west to Parkes. I couldn’t take the usual route as heavy snow had covered the road and closed it to traffic. I was quite annoyed at the thought of taking an alternate highway and missing the snow altogether but I really didn’t have any other choice.
I picked up my new friend (and the subject of a personal photography project I’m working on) Savannah and we hit the road. We’d just passed Goulburn and I was taking in my surrounds – enjoying the drive through new places, different spaces – when I spotted white patches at the top of a hill on the horizon. Snow! It didn’t take Sav long to convince me to pull over and before I knew it we had sprinted across the busy road and were squeezing through a barbed wire fence, the first of three. We were half jogging, half stumbling through the fields, giggling and shrieking like little children, rushing to get to the snow before darkness fell. We came to a fast flowing creek but luckily a tree had fallen right across it and we were able to go on. As I sprinted up that hill I caught myself saying, ‘This is living!’. I realise that to many the idea of trekking through bushland and seeing a small amount of snow probably doesn’t sound like much, but for me it was wondrous and magical and life affirming.
Small patches of snow grew larger as I got closer to the summit and my excitement increased, too. Touching the stuff was such a strange and lovely sensation. My hands plunged in over and over. I formed snowballs between my palms and threw them at Savannah. I took bites out of them; savored the texture. I was so present and yet so absorbed in that moment, that experience. I realise now that I must have appeared to be a tad crazy but I wasn’t really aware of my actions; I was simply reacting to this beautiful new thing.