There are many millions of people in the world who see nothing unusual in falling snow. It’s a regular part of their life experience, something they’ve always known, and something that is probably often more of a nuisance than anything else.
I am not one of those people.
I can detail many of my snow “firsts”, starting back with my first experience with just a tiny bit of snow in the mountains in Greece, snow that was months old when we found it. I was nine years old and it would be many years before I’d actually see snow fall.
|My first snowman; Amagatsuji, Japan|
Suddenly, there was white stuff landing on me. It seemed a little like dandruff at first, and I didn’t mention it to my father. There wasn’t very much of it and it took me a while to figure out that it was actually snow. I was pretty thrilled, to say the least! It didn’t last long, but it was snow fall, and fortunately a little more fell overnight.
Back at my apartment the next morning, I scraped together what had remained of the snow to build my first (fairly pitiful) snowman. You can see he had a carrot nose (because I knew from books that this is the way it’s done) and his eyes are made from one yen coins. I think it’s clear from the photo above that he was pretty tiny. I didn’t care; I grew up building sandcastles but dreaming of snowmen, and here was my very first one. No doubt my Japanese neighbours thought me somewhat unusual, though.
|Snowy view across the rice paddy next to my apartment|