My vision of hell has often been a vision of snow and ice. The only thing worse in my imagination, would be to be in an extremely cold and icy place and for an accordion player or a harpist to show up. That would make it a sort of super hell. Temperatures in Koldemo, Sweden plunged to minus 22 last week. It was all new to me.
I felt like I was Alice and that I had come to, miniaturised, on top of an old fashioned Christmas cake. When I was a child, the Christmas cake always had a snow scene of icing. Great drifts of hard icing, onto which plastic snow-covered pine and yew trees were stuck……. and here I was, tiny, gobsmacked and just a bit overwhelmed…… but in a good way, in the middle of it.
Banal old Christmas tunes interrupted the peace and quiet outside my head by showing up as relentless ear-worms inside my head. Bing Crosby and the gang were singing, ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….’ and ‘Walking in a winter wonderland.’ I was glad when a flock of punky looking Bohemian Waxwings showed up. My brain could then make a knight’s move to Freddie Mercury, singing “Mama, I just killed a man……” and so on. Good old Freddie; I was losing the run of myself. He could also mitigate the chances of any unwanted interruption by ear-worms of harp or accordion music.
What was unexpected in this cold, snowy and icy place was the sense of peace I experienced. It was as if the earth was in a state of deep rest.The air is dry. Hands freeze quickly. My own hair developed a crust of ice from my frozen breath. It was so quiet. So peaceful. So still. So welcome. Really, it was unexpectedly blissfully peaceful and quiet. It was as if the outside word was resonating the exact sense of being that I needed on the inside. I was far from home, far from the frenzy I associate with normal Christmas and instead able to enjoy it, slowly and very simply instead.
Far from the ice and snow being hellish, my experience was quite the opposite. I know it isn’t the same at home when the snow comes – especially when there are deadlines, jobs to be done, driving required, but sometimes, just sometimes, the world offers us exactly what it is we need, at exactly the right time, but in an unexpected way.
Happy New Year!
All rights reserved. 2012 – 2015