Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved freezing rain.
Back then, it was a pretty uncomplicated love. It meant cozy indoor time, curled up with a book listening to the rain fall, with the occasional break to look out the window to see how much ice had built up. And once the storm was over, it meant sliding down a hill on my bum, no sled required, and skating without skates on ice-covered roads, challenging myself to see how far I could go before wiping out, to get up and try to go even further this time.
Most of all, though, it meant a world that sparkled in the sun, as the light glinted off all the ice. Especially the trees. There’s little in this world as beautiful to me as the play of sunlight on ice-covered trees.
One of the first photos I ever took, in fact – way back when I had to ask permission to use the camera because both film and developing it were expensive – was of a neighbour’s tree, covered in ice.
Nowadays, my love of freezing rain is a bit more complex. When it’s in the forecast, a little bit of me cringes, because I know all the work that’s going to come along with it. It means potential power outages and possible property damage, and if it falls on a work day, driving in it.
But there’s still always a little part of me that rejoices.
It’s the part that, while I’m cursing and swearing because my car is frozen shut at 5am when I’m trying to leave work, then making my cautious way home on roads that resemble skating rinks, decides to slip and slide to the end of the driveway and take a photo because the street I live on looks so beautiful I’ve been standing in the rain getting soaked for a full minute, gazing at it.
There’s a 39-year gap between the first photo I took of an ice-covered world and the most recent one, and I love how very different they are. It seems symbolic of how much I’ve changed in that time, from a child exploring a still-new world, to an adult whose world is often a much darker place. It’s no longer one where I see how far I can slide in one go anymore, because wiping out means maybe breaking a hip.
But despite the differences, even though my world may not be the same now as it was then, it’s nice to know that I still see the same wonder in it that I did all those years ago.