Photo Friday: Sweeping the Season’s First Snowfall

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I snapped this shot while visiting The Heavenly Palace in Beijing back in 2006. It was the first snowfall of the 2006-2007 winter season, and we were fortunate enough to catch a few memorable snowy moments:

  • A small child stomping down the snowflakes and “writing” with his feet, making intricate patterns/messages, which I was unable to read, on the ground below the still-falling snow.
  • A rickshaw cab ride, cycling through the hutongs of Beijing, peeking past the driver’s back to see the streets draped in winter white, as we made our way to the Underground City.
  • This man, pictured above, dressed in a lovely blue robe, sweeping snow from The Heavenly Palace courtyard with a long-handled, wispy broom.

Here’s a little excerpt from a journal I kept way back then:

“The last day in 2006 is nearly over. It’s strange to think this year is already coming to a close. There’s a lot to reflect back on. Last New Years Eve I wandered aimlessly around [some friends’] house, feeling a little out of the loop and very out of place. It seems more natural in a lot of ways to spend the year’s last day halfway around the world, wandering the streets of Beijing, talking to artists, street salespeople, and fellow hostel occupants. I don’t know why, but that somehow fits better.

The first snow of the year (okay, of the season, but people are saying the year) fell yesterday, glazing the city in white powder, quickly changing into black slush on the streets. The locals say the first snow is lucky (as are many things, for example, wearing red, especially when it is your year. I was born in the year of the boar, so this coming year is my year, apparently), but we’ve come to notice that many things that are said aren’t quite true. It really would be interesting to see how the locals perceive a lot of different things. Not what they SAY, which seems to be anything it takes to make a sale, but what they really think about different topics.”

Enjoy the upcoming winter!

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