If you’ve lived with cold, real cold, you might not understand our excitement. We come from a temperate climate, where snow causes chaos for a day or two every few years. Snowflakes are indistinguishable blobs of white, bringing joy to school-children – and those of us who still appreciate being at the mercy of the weather. But this was Finland, in January, and it was cold. Colder than I’d thought possible. Nights were long, and the days were short – the pink and orange light of sunrise fading gently into the red and gold of sunset, with the snow reflecting back the shimmering colours. Snowflakes were intricately embroidered creations.
We’d gone to the edge of a frozen lake – only distinguishable as a lake because there were no trees growing there – and waited with a group of other people, hoping to see the Lights. It was cold. Our breath formed clouds around us, and we shuffled and jigged, keeping our feet moving, talking, joking, waiting. Gradually everyone else left, in search of hot chocolate, or maybe a nightcap. No Lights tonight, they all agreed. But we are stubborn, and we hung on, the four of us alone in the wide, white night. We finally decided to go, when our youngest started to noticeably droop, and that was when they came. White lights dancing in the sky, just for us. Our memory, to hold for ever.
Whiteness all around
Snowflakes dance their way to earth
Lights dance in the sky.
Toni is tending the bar at dVerse tonight. It’s the last haibun of 2016, and she’s wishing us a “Good Night”. You should head over there and read some haibuns. Life is beautiful.