It's easy to describe what snow is and how it works, but what about how it feels?

I will always remember one time when I woke around 2am and looked out of my window to find the first snowfall of the winter after days of rain and drizzle. Flakes fluttered down from the sky like feathers and gently settled in a thin blanket, covering everything below. The sodium street lamps tinted the whole scene to a warm orange and not a thing seemed to move.

I couldn't sleep, wrapped up in the magic of the occasion, so I put on my boots and a warm coat and quietly crept out of the house. I wandered up the drive and onto the road, each step making a gentle crunching sound as the snow beneath my feet was compressed to form a firm mirror image of the sole of my boot. When I made it to the middle of the traffic free road I stopped and looked up into the sky. The whole of the heavens were moving as the snow swirled down in the almost imperceptible breeze. The flakes were big enough for me to follow the movement of individual ones a hundred feet above me, yet the deeper I looked the more they seemed to flow together, eventually blocking my view with a wall of fractal wonder.

Like every child I held out a hand to catch a flake and brought it up for a closer look. It melted before me, turning into a small droplet of the purest seeming water on my pink little finger. Then I opened wide and stood with my head back waiting for one to land in my mouth so I could feel its cold touch on my tongue. Everyone should know how it feels to do that. I can't imagine not knowing snow.

After a few moments I started to walk on down the road. It had not been settling for long, so there was only an inch or two of cover and I could drag my feet so that they scraped the tarmac beneath. With a little run I could slide, the thin layer hardening under my feet and leaving a slippery, cleared line behind. I turned to watch as the falling snow began to recover the dark surface and turn it orangey white once again.

Every now and then I would pause and bend down to scoop up a pair of soft handfuls, squashing them together to form a snowball. Then I'd throw it up into the air or into a tree to knock down a small avalanche, beautiful as it cascaded through the branches in a light shower and landed in a small heap below. I walked up to a car, my dad's, and used my finger to draw a big smiling face on the windscreen, carved into the snow. It would soon be gone again. I decided to go back to bed.