The First Snow

For the past eight years, I’ve been slightly fearful of snow. Whereas once it represented adventure and excitement and fun, since developing Pulmonary Hypertension, it makes me feel trapped and isolated and in danger. The cold air further restricts my airways and lungs, making me breathless after just a step or two. My rural village gets regularly cut off, leaving me without easy access to ambulances or hospitals. And as my little mobility scooter can’t drive over snow, I’m stuck inside. Every time the world turns white, I’m forced into lockdown, unable to leave my house. Watching it only through windows and photos and videos. For the past eight years, at the first sign of powder in the air, I’m praying for it to melt.

But this year was different. This year, for the first time since getting ill, I was excited about the white stuff. I was hoping to see the snowflake symbol on the weather app. I was admiring friends’ photos of snow drifts, and longing for the same. This year, for the first time since 2013, I was waiting for it, wishing for it, wanting a white wonderland. Partly it was due to the boredom of lockdown; something to break the monotony of another eighteen weeks of shielding. Partly is was because over the past ten months, I’d become used to being unable to access medical care. Partly it was the anticipation of introducing my excitable pup to snow for the first time. But mainly it was because -this year- I wasn’t going to be stuck inside. Now the grateful owner of an off-road mobility scooter, I’d be able to escape my snow covered garden, and explore the white wintry countryside.

And last Sunday was the big day. 🙂 Whilst the pups had their morning snooze, the garden was magically blanketed in a heavy covering of soft, cold snow. Too excited to eat lunch first, we immediately took them outside. Kepler was both fascinated and confused- he nudged the snow with his nose and paws, and tried to catch flying snowballs with his mouth! Lottie frolicked a little, before escaping to the warmth of the garage. And Phil built a Mr Snowy in the front garden. 🙂 And then we went on a dog walk. In. The. Snow! I left my snowy garden, went along snowy roads, and across snowy fields. I watched my dogs exploring the white world with my own eyes. And I got up close with the wintry countryside in all its glory. And gees, I’d forgotten how magical it all was. The beauty of snow drifts on branches and hedges and fence poles and stone walls. The sound of crunching snow and breaking ice, underneath my wheels. Long dangling icicles, tiny animal footprints, driving through virgin snow. Snowflakes on the tongue, the silence and stillness, and excited and curious and zooming and playful and exploring dogs! After eight years of missing out, it felt like my first snow too. 🙂 We went home to soup and hot chocolate and snoozes under blankets.

Snowflakes are forecast for this weekend… I’ve charged my scooter all ready! 🙂

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