“You must live in a snow paradise!” A comment I recently received on one of my fox in the snow photos. He couldn’t have been further from the truth! In my country, snow is almost as rare as winning the lottery. And lately, with all that is happening, paradise is not the first thing that comes to mind anyway. But the comment made my mind wander to a beautiful day, when maskless faces were just a common sight and hugging was still legal.
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Once upon a time in December, the news warned: “Whatever you do, stay home and do NOT hit the road!” That was my go-ahead to plow my way through frozen snow on my bike and hop on a train. Admittedly, my heart rate must have been sky high, as our trains are already disrupted at the slightest trace of ‘weather’. So I knew this would be a risky venture. I had no idea if I would ever arrive and I’d rather not think about ever coming home.
But…it worked! After several hours of traveling, I was where I wanted to be. My initial euphoria soon
gave way to doubt though. Jeez, was it snowing hard! The paths had become invisible and I had no clue where exactly I was walking. There was no one outside as everyone was – as usual – wiser than me. And how cold it was! With our ailing climate, I was not prepared for that at all. It seemed like it was snowing harder every minute and the countless snowflakes blinded my site, forcing me to walk backwards. With each step my doubt increased. When it became almost impossible to walk against the strong wind, I decided to take a rest. “What was I thinking? As if any animal would show up in such a blizzard. They were smarter than me too! And what if it wouldn’t ever stop snowing? Could you actually get snowed in? Wouldn’t it have been wiser to just stay home and watch Netflix?
I looked up at the sky and watched the snowflakes swirling down. Just like when I was a little kid and watched the falling snow through the window, I became hypnotized again. Sane or not…this was pure magic! The snow expertly packed everything, from trash cans to no trespassing signs. All the nonsense was magically removed and I imagined myself in a perfect world. Even sounds seemed to be absorbed by the snow. There was nothing to disturb this perfectness. As far as my eye could see everything was…white, white and whiter….
Until this perfect white pattern was suddenly interrupted by…something red….
A FOX!!! I held my breath and dared not move. But instead of running away, like I was used to foxes back then, she sat quietly as the snow fell on her. Strangely enough, it didn’t seem to bother her at all. She just took the snowstorm completely calmly. In fact, she even seemed to enjoy that new white world, like I did! And it may be my imagination, but ..did I just see her smile?
There might have been coldness and discomfort. I vaguely remember frozen toes, a camera that quit functioning properly and sneaky snowflakes squirming under my clothes. But I was utterly enchanted. We were just the characters in a magical fairy tale. Her smile, real or not, made the cold disappear, turned the light on and I willingly let myself be carried away in this beautiful fairy tale of me and the fox in winter wonderland.
So no, I don’t live in a paradise. Not at all. But very very occasionally I find myself in the right place at the right time and I end up in a beautiful winter fairy tale with one happy fox that, even today, is still able to make me – and hopefully others – smile. And it is nice to know that magic can happen. Also, or just at the moment you no longer expect it.
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