Is it the weather, the landscape, or both? It's both, of course.
Today was my first "normal" day since December 13th. But how do I define normal?
Normal is taking the kids to school, no snow on the roads, the morning at Jane Austen House, the afternoon at home tutoring, several loads of wash to do, gnocchi with tomato sauce for dinner, lots of emails to catch up with, a new book to begin, a blog to write.
The Christmas holidays, followed by the snow holidays, were threatening to permanently pre-empt my notions of normal life. Can you still call it "normal" if it stops being your default context? A week of Christmas snow is magical; a week of playing-hooky-from-real-life snow is fun; after that, it stops being a novelty and starts being tiresome.
My youngest daughter had precisely one day in school before I whisked her off to Copenhagen for a birthday (her 12th) Blog Camp. For three days, 10 of us talked (and talked), and drank tea, and sewed, and art-journaled. It was too intense to be normal. Even though the sky was gray and the wind was bitter, there was a warm golden glow that can't be entirely explained by those Scandinavian wood-burning fires.
For the first time in years, I have a circle of friends who are younger than I am. Isn't age one of the strangest, most bizarrely contextual states of mind and being? During the Christmas holidays, I watched an Elvis retrospective and re-discovered that he was only 42 when he died. How did 42 get to be such a shockingly young age to die? When I was a child he seemed plenty old -- and so washed-up. Although I'm fairly relaxed about being 43 (and one week old), I still can't help but think: I am now older than Elvis.
We are expecting heavy snow tonight. My oldest daughter has her Physics GCSE tomorrow. If necessary, we will put on our ski clothes and walk miles through the snow to school. It's getting to be our new normal.