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There is Glitter Falling from the Sky

At the moment, there is glitter falling from the sky.

It’s -20 centigrade (that’s -4 Fahrenheit) and the sun is shining brightly. But it’s also snowing, a very fine particulate snow that I’m sure there’s a specific Finnish word for, because the Finns have about 40 different words for snow. These aren’t even snowflakes, they’re more like tiny crystals. I suspect it might just be the moisture in the air freezing, but I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s so fine that you can’t even see it unless the sunlight hits it. And when the sunlight hit it, this snow sparkles. It honestly looks like there is glitter falling from the sky.

You can tell when it’s this cold outside because the bare trees all turn white with frost. It is absolutely gorgeous. You can tell that it is actually snowing, because there’s a particular kind of haze when you look off into the distance. It almost looks like thin fog, rather than the sort of whiteout you associate with a regular snowstorm. Katie says that it looks like a frozen fairyland, and I can’t argue that. It is otherworldly and almost supernaturally beautiful.

That it does not show up on video reinforces that notion. I tried to take pictures, but it just doesn’t show up. The particles are too small, the flecks of light to brief. Katie and I just stared out the window for about ten minutes. Absolutely amazing. It’s another one of those things about the Nordics that has to be experienced to be believed.

Here’s a fun fact to take you through the day: In spite of the different words for snow, there is no verb in Finnish to express “it is snowing”. They say sataa lunta, which means “it is raining snow”. They might also say “snow is coming”, tulee lunta, even when it is snowing at the moment, because Finnish is weird about tenses. This is why it’s such a difficult language to learn.

But damn, this country is magical.

Published in The Invisible College of Blogs

2 Comments

  1. Veronika Veronika

    Ahh, the glitter! That’s how I refer to it, too, and it’s glorious. I can see if T knows the Swedish word for it once he is out of his meeting and post it if there is one. I also love how, when it’s really cold (below -10C), the fallen snow surface develops the same glittery character, and instead of looking like white fluff, looks like crushed cyrstal and sparkles. Which also doesn’t come through on camera at all. I know, I’ve tried.

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