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The saying “like a sheet of snow” is considered clichéd when used in reference to a blank piece of paper. But like most clichés it is so close to the truth. This winter I was, for the first time, living in the countryside and when the snow came and covered my world with a crisp blanket of white, it elicited exactly the same response as a fresh page on which no mark has yet been made; a strong desire to fill it with marks and colours and shapes. So I was delayed in reaching my destination, leaving a trail of spirals and smiling faces in my wake.
A handprint atop a wall, footprints by the river, the absolute joy of making the world more beautiful, or at least making my mark upon it with the intent of beauty, is priceless. The grey faces of people huddling under woolly hats and muffled in scarves were a direct counterpoint to the smile on my face as I danced in the snow. So what if it is cold? The world is gorgeous today. So what if our hair and clothes are damp from snowflakes gracing us with their presence, they will not last long and we can always go inside and sit by a heater (no longer a roaring fire, alas) and watch them fall outside in graceful wafts or pouring sheets, catching the light as they arrive in our world. And I wonder, momentarily, about the people who cannot retreat to a warm place, about the flowers that have sprung before the late snowfall and the buds on the trees, and I admit that I shrug and enjoy the snow, saddened only for a moment by thoughts of things I cannot, at that moment, change.
Then I move on, enjoying a moment in my life where the entire world lays itself open to me, fresh and white and clean and ready for the patterns that will share my joy with the world.
And as I leave the playground of an artists dream to melt the traces of snow from my boots in the warm, I think to myself, perhaps, next year, I can use food colouring on the white, I wonder how that would turn out…

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