Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Taking the Tundra Lightly

Snegúrochka, the Snow Maiden

Alright. I suppose it's time for me to stop complaining. After all, it does nothing to change the temperature or stop the precipitation, or remove the layers of pewter colors masking the sunshine. For goodness sake, it's not as if we live in the tundra.

Missouri is lucky to have a good winter. It's a real winter with snow and cold wind and ice and sleet and the problems that go along with it. But it doesn't last forever, does it?

Now, Russia...there's a winter! The Russian culture has coped with harsh winters for centuries upon centuries...incredible snowfall amounts, subzero temperatures, and dark skies that last for weeks and weeks. They'd be happy to see the sun, even swathed in layers of gray as it is here today. Tsk. And I complain.

As humans do when we want to understand and learn to cope with our surroundings, the Russian culture created fairy tales and legends about their harsh winters.  The Snow Maiden is one of these, a story of  a beautiful young maiden created from the longing of an elderly couple for a daughter to love...springing from the snow. It's not hard to predict that the tale doesn't end well, for as much as they loved their precious daughter, Snegúrochka was destined to disappear when the warmth of spring returned.

Nesting dolls, enameled music boxes, jewelry, paintings, and postage stamps have been created to commemorate the Snow Maiden. The great Russian composer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, created an opera for her,  and the Bolshoi Ballet transformed it into a ballet, both of which are still performed today.

For me, the legend of the Snow Maiden serves to illustrate the need to appreciate the beauty of winter when it comes around and hold it dear to our hearts, knowing that it won't last forever.

With that knowledge, I vow to stop complaining about the weather...at least for today. After all, it's not the "endless endlessness" as described by the video below. A video which, I hope, lightens your day as it did mine.

I hope you have a really cool winter day.


  1. It's not looking like a stellar day for a walk here either. Brother Wind (bastard!) plus ice, and it's not warming up like it was supposed to. Dang, man.

    But I won't complain either ... or go crazy in the DC tundra!

  2. Hi Reya...how in the world did DC get the ice storm before us? Ours is due to hit later this morning.

    We cant beat it, so CiCi and I have been 'dancing it out' here at home this morning.

    Stay warm, Reya...you're already cool enough!

  3. Busy days but love the posts! Our snow comes tomorrow night...Love you!

  4. Thanks, Vicki...the big part of the storm comes to us tomorrow night and on into Thursday. I see another snow day in our future! :-)

  5. Thanks for the Tundra Rap. Might go dance in the white stuff myself later today...

  6. Cool...in every sense of the word.


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