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I smell burning.
I feel the world turning.
I see the sun setting.
I witness the light fading.
I walk the roads that are flooding.
I feel the cold wind blowing.
I see the trees swaying.
I need to make my homecoming.
I feel my heart aching and breaking.
I feel the air and I see my breath in front of me
because it is so freezing.
I wonder if it again will start sleeting,
or even start snowing.
I have this sense of something impending.
I believe hope for me is being carried on the wind,
but like with everything in life there is no telling what
and no way of knowing or saying.

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Icicles on bicycles, frozen spiderwebs on flowerbeds;
it’s spring now, but the snow just doesn’t want to go.
Children are enraptured in the joy of playing outside,
building snowmen, and having snowball fights;
eager travellers, who want to jet-off to warmer climates,
are checking-in at their airport arrivals desk
and finding out that their departure from winter England
may be delayed, or sadly one of the unfortunate “Cancelled Flights”.

The weather is the topic of almost every-other conversation-
some people are embracing it for pleasure,
some people are venturing out at the cost of their own lives,
some people are saying that they “have had enough”;
while other people make the most of the snow-
the way it falls like sprinkled sugar on a bowl of cereals,
the way it lies so beautifully on the ground,
the way it records the momentary paths of passersby,
animals, birds foraging for food-
some try to go as fast as they can,
while others just take it slow.

The wind blows the snow like dust;
the world looks like another planet;
on every window there is a thick white frost;
every pavement, every road, is covered so overwhelmingly,
and the snow is so compacted it is as hard granite.
People live in a perpetual ice-life everyday somewhere on Earth,
and they carry on regardless;
we here in the UK always say that we are prepared
for all weather eventualities,
but when weather like the cold-front
that has been visiting us recently, and testing out tolerance, comes,
we are always left dazed for days,
we always struggle to adapt-
some reach their peak, and some surpass their peak,
of being overcome with debilitating levels of stress.
I, on the other hand, take every step in my stride
and I treat every footprint in the snow
as if it were one small step on the moon.
I will always have great memories of my time growing up:
playing in the snow with my sister,
remembering my Dad taking my sister and me
for a sledge-ride to the shops near our home-
magical memories that take my breath away
and rise like hot air inside of a balloon.

The temperature is rising,
the sky is turning blue,
the snow is melting,
the wishes of millions are coming true.
The snow is returning to from whence it came;
people thinking about their commute to work tomorrow
breath a sigh of relief-
until the weather presenter on the TV says that
snow may fall again during the night,
and that “there may be a chance of some rain”.

Spring is here, Summer will arrive before we know it,
and I think I can safely say that the climate of Earth
and the seasons of nature are changing,
and we must all change, adapt, and be prepared for everything-
because, who knows what is waiting in the wings to arrive,
who knows what the winds of uncertainty will bring.

Snowflakes swirl, fly, and dance, in the air,
as they slowly descend to the already white-covered floor-
billions of intricate and perfect frozen tears
dusting and blanketing the world before me.
It is like standing in the middle of a snowglobe.
No one can see anything in front of them,
everyone just jeeps going as best, as fast,
and as caustiously, as they can-
not letting the weather keep them in one place,
not even this unrelenting snowfall.

Seeing familiar landmarks veiled below frozen fields
that makes everything look indistinguishable from everything else,
a new world reveals itself, a new light shines, a new beauty arises,
the sky becomes the Earth, the Earth becomes the sky;
the sun is obscurred from view, all is bright,
and suddenly every-day things that you may sometimes miss
start to catch your eye.

A red british postbox has never looked more amazing
and glowing than against a white back-drop;
roads and motorways have never seemed more ghostly,
nor more other-worldly, than when you drive down them
in the middle of a blizzard,
when you are relying on the lights of the vehicles
in front of you to save you from coming to a sudden,
immediate, and perhaps costly stop.

Walking on what you cannot see,
walking on something that you have to constantly reteach yourself
how to walk on with every step,
makes you think more about your surroundings,
forces you to not take anything for granted,
and to expect the unexpected-
it doesn’t take much to take a false step in the snow below
and seconds later to find yourself in a skid.

In this weather you need to wrap-up warm, keep on the move,
stay dry, make the most of every shelter and cover that you come across,
don’t rush to wherever you are going, give yourself time, stay inside-
the snow can seem like a disruption if you have got somewhere to go;
but you cannot not appreciate its beauty, its magic,
its gift of contemplation-
nothing else opens your eyes to the world more wide.

Looking at the world, staring at the white cloud-covered sky,
at the snow-carpeted ground, and at the bare branches of the trees,
while wearing the biggest and the warmest coat that I could find
to protect me from the cold and the ice-
I look at where I am standing,
I look at the landscape that nature is remaking,
and I smile to myself at the thought that, as things stand right now,
this must be the most perfect winter wonderland that I have ever seen,
and it would be the most sublime snowman’s paradise.

While I lay in my bed the previous night,
a blanket of fog had risen and had covered my home;
while walking the streets and the lanes of my village,
in the early hours of the morning,
details and landmarks were obscured to me-
it was like everything was covered in foam.
The mist before me was thicker than I had seen in a long time-
it was as if my home was floating in the sky,
surrounded on all sides by cloud,
with the light of lamp-posts dimly shining like stars in a line.
It felt like I was not only walking around my home,
but also walking the pavements of my own misty mind-
the cold of the morning had stolen my thoughts,
as the fog had stolen my vision-
making me effectively blind.

There was no wind, but the air all around was bitterly cold;
there was no frost to be found on the ground,
but it felt like I was at the North Pole-
if it were not for my coat, my scarf,
and the fact that I never stopped for a second,
I believe that I would have been frozen to death;
and if it were not for the sound of my own foot-falls,
I would have thought that I had gone deaf.
There was no one to be seen, and this was 8.30 in the morning;
I found myself missing the sun more and more,
every minute without it felt like we hadn’t had a proper day’s dawning.

The green fields that I rambled across could still be seen under-foot,
but from a distance you could be forgiven
for mistaking them for ghostly-white-
no rabbits to be spotted emerging from their burrows,
nor any birds to be witnessed above in full-flight.
It was like everything- all life, but me- was frozen below the surface,
or still tucked-up in their bed;
while I carried out my morning ritual, as best I could
considering I couldn’t see what was ahead.

As soon as I reached the tree-line of my favourite wood,
a smile came across my face at the sight of this special place to me;
for reasons so complex and important I cannot describe, if only I could;
however, what I can say is that the trees that inhabit this forest
have an energy to them that I have felt no where else-
every time I come back, I feel like I can just be myself.

As soon as I walked among the trees,
the sound of life returned to my ears, and I felt free-
the smell of the trees, the sound that they make when they sway;
the wing-beats of a hawk flying through the trees-
overcame my own personal fog, and got inside of me.

As I stood there,
taking in everything that my senses would allow me to comprehend,
as sunlight streamed in and bathed me in light so clear and energizing,
I thought that I could stand there forever through every element
and season of nature until my end.

Every time I come back to this place
the experience is even more moving and profound than the last-
rain, snow, or sunshine,
wet, freezing, or baking in warmth,
the time that I spend here is just what I need-
it never goes too slow, or too fast.

When I exit the forest, and return to the outside world,
blue-sky and bird-song is everywhere around me,
and there is the faintest aroma of a cooked English breakfast on the breeze,
as leaves before me twist and swirl.

All is right with the world again,
and all is right again with me.
I have a smile on my face,
I can think clearly,
and I can see.

I think about the woods, the trees, the fields,
and how lucky I am to live where I live,
what it all means, and how when I am here I never feel alone-
and I thank my parents for raising me in this place of perfection-
the Centre of England- so that I may call it the place where I belong,
the place I love, and the place where I shall always call my home.

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