Lately I’ve been thinking about snow. So today, December 23, I went to the bookshelf and took down A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. This little book would easily fit in a child’s hands. But the narrator is grown now and seems to be sitting with you by a fireplace as he warms to his subject.
One Christmas was so much like another … that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
It snowed and snowed. … Our snow was not only shaken from whitewash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground … [It] grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss … and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunderstorm of white, torn Christmas cards.
‘Were there postmen then, too?’
‘With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses, on spread, frozen feet they crunched up to the doors and mittened on them manfully.’
… I would go out, my bright new boots squeaking, into the white world … to call on Jim and Dan and Jack and to pad through the still streets, leaving huge deep footprints on the hidden pavements.
‘I bet people will think there’s been hippos.’
‘What would you do if you saw a hippo coming down our street?’
‘I’d go like this, bang! I’d throw him over the railings and roll him down the hill and then I’d tickle him under the ear and he’d wag his tail.’
‘What would you do if you saw two hippos?’
… [A] small boy says: ‘It snowed last year, too. I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.’
As Thomas’ narrator says about himself, in my memory it was always snowing at Christmas. Maybe it’s the same for you.