I know my co-expat Potok has also been blogging about this phenomenon, and so did I a year ago, but one can't help it: when the frost covers the trees and frost-on-frost snows come, it is what we've come to call 'a diamond time'. In very cold temperatures an extra layer of frost forms each night and as this country knows very little wind, the masses of crystals stay undisturbed, just grow in thickness and beauty - even on the snow that lies on the ground. So when the sun hits the landscape, it sparkles like millions of diamonds. Unfortunately it is impossible to photograph in its full glory, but here's at least a pale representation of it. So while downhill skiers enjoy the exhilaration of powder snow everywhere, a great alternative is to put on walking skis and slide quietly into the stillness of the forest, and then stop, and wait: Not a sound is heard, and nothing moves save for the occasional drop of snow from an over-heavy branch, sending showers of sparkly flakes through the blindingly bright rays of the sun, and one is in the presence of something eternal, timeless - just sheer, gloriously pristine beauty, a gift beyond imagining.
If only the politicians and all those busy businessmen who shape our future would find time to take themselves, alone and humbly, just for one day into such paradise - maybe we'd have a better world to look forward to?