14 January 2010

Metz sous la neige d'hiver

I awoke Wednesday to the familiar sound of windshield scrapers.  For a moment I could have sworn I was back in Michigan! I opened my shutters to find my beautiful city blanketed in a lush carpet of white snow.  My view of the cathedral was completely obscured by fog and continuous snowfall lasting most of the day.  Below me, Messins skidded down the unplowed streets, struggling for balance as their dogs strained against their leashes.  Part of me yearned to race outdoors and have a snowball fight... but the part of me that shuddered at the cold and wanted to sleep in was stronger.  

I awoke several hours later to the same steady snowfall, sluggish but motivated by the beautiful photographic possibilities.  Armed with my faithful Canon, Hélène, Nicolas and I took a meandering stroll through the centre-ville, stopping for cheese and fruit at the covered market, and enjoying the beauty of Metz in her white coat.  True to form, Nicolas was as rambunctious as ever, splashing through one pile of slush to another as horrified women in sleek black leggings and boots daintily attempted to circumvent the slippery mess in the cobbled streets.  As we neared bridge to the Temple Protestant on the Moselle River, he shattered the tranquility of the scene by sending a gigantic snowball hurtling towards the unsuspecting swans below.  People in Metz don't smile readily, so it was amusing to see their façades crack as they smirked at Nicolas's antics.  At least until icy slush splattered all over their immaculate black peacoats.  

Working a full school year means experiencing Metz in every season, which is a true delight. However, as lovely as Metz is in her dazzling white attire, I certainly hope for an early spring. There is a bleakness to this weather, and the cold is positively draining.  The morning trek to the bus stop is now a dreaded ordeal, and I'm constantly fighting the urge to take afternoon-long naps. Although I now have time to paint, read, or plan exciting trips, I'm feeling surprisingly unmotivated.  I've also developed pronounced cravings for bread and sweets.  Already depressed from parting with family, friends and Jim after being home for Christmas, the weather definitely heightens the feelings I'm experiencing.  

After perusing Wikipedia, I suspect I may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder, better known as the winter blues.  A number of my fellow English assistants in Metz are struggling with the same phenomenon.  Thankfully I'm a month away from a whirlwind tour of Europe with one of my best girlfriends for my winter break, and three months away from a Parisian holiday with Jim.  These milestones help me through the winter blahs, giving me something to plan for, to look forward to.  

Of course, the best remedy of all is living with an energetic 10 year-old. 

Heading toward the river from the Cathédrale

Le Temple Protestant and the unsuspecting swans

The Gothic details of La Cathédrale Saint-Etienne 
are beautifully highlighted with white frosting.

La Cathédrale Saint-Etienne

Nicolas and his menacing snowball.  Two seconds later it splashed 
into the river, scattering a flock of frantic swans in all directions!

1 comment:

  1. Did Nicolas build that beautiful snowman? There's nothing like having kids around to keep things lively. Mom


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