Leaving new year’s traces in the snow





Fresh like a field of snow in the morning, a new year is like a turning a page in the grand history of the world. Little by little, events will leave their trace before becoming mere memories. Such goes the cycle of life.

“The snow, exploded water, sand of ice, salt not of the earth, but of the sky, salt not salty, the taste of flint with the texture of crushed rock, perfumed with cold, white in colour, the only colour that falls from the clouds,” writes Amélie Nothomb in Le Sabotage amoureux (The Sabotage loves). And it’s beautiful.

Beautiful like the stars in the eyes of children upon discovering nature painted white. Beautiful like their joyful romping in the powder and playing amongst the snowflakes – and who cares if it’s cold. Beautiful like the perfect geometry of snowflakes, of which they say each one is unique.

Of course when it melts, the powder turns to slush and the white becomes a dirty brown, it is less beautiful. As the snow disappears, so too do the traces we left in it. They endured, as the poet said: “just as the roses endured: the space of an instant”.

(Marc-André Miserez, swissinfo.ch. Images: Keystone, Reuters, AFP, imagepoint. Photo editing: Christophe Balsiger, swissinfo.ch)

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