The weather here in Yorkshire is atrocious.
It's currently snowing quite heavily, the public transport system is at a standstill and my attempts to get to a supervisory meeting have failed before they began. I'm arguing with people, trying to persuade them not to leave their houses, while I panic about where the cat got to. It's a scene playing out up and down the country as people debate the meaning of an 'essential journey'. I'm not of the opinion that works counts personally, and heaven forbid I get into another debate on how ill-equipped the British road and rail network is to deal with something that is fast becoming a regular occurrence.
But, gripes aside, the bad weather had given me a perverse sense of peace. There is nothing quite like sitting cosily before a window watching the world disappear under a blanket of untouched snow. There is the flip side of the coin - the accidents, the anxiety - but for me, at a particular moment last night, the whole view instilled a feeling of isolation into me. There are very few things in this hectic modern world that slow you down long enough to realise how quiet a place is. I picked up my pen and started writing.
What ended up on the paper wasn't a homage to snow. In fact, the setting was far removed from the winter weather taking root in my garden. I was reminded of my visit to Austria last summer and how a thick mist descended on top of the mountains, shrouding everything. The only sound clearly audible was the ringing of bells as the cows moved around the mountain-top. Everything was so quiet and heavy. You could easily imagine being the last person in the world up there; not too dissimilar to how many people feel walking in this weather.
I may not appreciate the travel disruption and the inevitable anxiety about family and friends but I am grateful for the inspiration the weather has given me. I wonder how long the sense of peace will last for...