Saturday, 23 December 2017

December light snowfall

light snow on rooftops
Curtains open. Snow overnight whilst we all dreamt of sledging, skidding and snowballing, big fat flurries falling on roofs, turning the parks, playing fields, gardens and verges into snowman playgrounds. Not to be. Mid Cheshire snow, so brief and so light, as if the salty earth in these parts stops the flakes from settling and instead allows a brief dusting to excite the townsfolk before quickly melting away.

Boots on, crunch of crystalline paths to the town church with smatterings of snow on gate pillars and gathering in mini drifts along the original churchyard wall, God's Acre now belonging to Boreas. Pockets of snow in grassy tufts by gravestones, collecting in the words of the forgotten, 1845. A solitary flake eddies and lands on shouldered stone, I remember you, the cold remembers you well.
St Helen Witton church in the snow

Snow dusted graveyard

Along the path by the great east window, walked already by hardy shoppers in buttoned up coats and hopped by hardy birds in buttoned up feather jackets, carrying their bags and their worms. Wheels from pushchairs and brave slippy cyclists with chilled hands gripping handlebars, knuckled red and puffs of breath chugging along. Here the churchyard is littered with the decay of fallen headstones like the aftermath of a battle. Crosses lay wounded in icy snow and weary angels pray for no thaw.
We all want more snow.
Snowy path through the churchyard

Cross in the snow

East window Witton church NorthwichBack by the south porch, about to shrug shoulders, glance optimistically at the quilted sky one last time when the feather burst happened. Downy snowflakes large as goose quills falling heavily, the furious emptying of huge pillows. Eyelashes sparkling and obscured by Arctic drifts with every blink as I pretend I might be later snowshoeing it across the ledger stones, past the old wall and under the icicle hanging wrought iron gate back home whilst dodging snowballs hurled by excited children. 

Reality is such that the squall and dance of the flakes did obscure the church tower for a couple of minutes, a Gothic blur as gargoyles and grotesque heads caught flakes in grimacing toothy smiles and gurns accumulated white powder, lolling tongues tasted globs of snow and a poof of  last night's frost shot out of the spouts like winter cannons. The sun just a faint low hanging light as if it had suddenly been ambushed and bundled into a sack, gauzy, muffled......the snow falling onto the old sundial, covering that too for good measure, stating the day simply and clearly as winter time.
South porch Witton Northwich

Snow covered grave

Church path by the sundial

Church in a blizzard


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