The contrast between the seasons in Helsinki is mind boggling. At this time of year, we normally have quite a bit of snow and everything is covered in a sparkling layer of white. This year, we have the sub-zero temps finally and most things are frozen over, but there is precious little snow. No matter—there is still much loveliness to be found.
Rather than giving in to the temptation to stay in and hibernate the winter months away, we try to get out and about during the brightest bit of the day (or at least before the sun sets each day). Today, we were a bit late in getting out due to other commitments. A standard part of our walks has us passing over the above bridge. In the pools on either side of this bridge, a family of ducks can normally be seen scavenging for the bits of bread crusts and seeds our neighbours take to them or paddling about in the waters still unfrozen and quacking away the days.
It’s shocking to see this nearly frozen solid. But, frozen it is. And, lovely as ever it is.
The family of ducks must have wandered to another spot less frozen over. All that remained of them today were their footprints in the snow covering the ice. Small bits of water still show and the water is flowing under all of that ice. Alas, no ducks.
But, it’s a different world in this normally tranquil paddling pool, much as the world around us looks so different at this time of year to what it will look like six months from now. Rather than a familiar world frozen and darkened by the burden of frost, snow and ice, everything will be alive with green and colour and the varied songs of the many birds who call our neighbourhood home. And, also familiar.
Still tranquil, but not quite so quiet. Yet, always lovely.