The Sound of Snow

It was snowing here in Berlin when I walked the dog this morning. It makes me pause when she rambles slowly about the park. I conjure up in my mind the pictures from school books of Berlin in the early ’80s, most of those photos we saw were stark images and many were snow covered to emphasise the bleakness of the living situation in East Berlin, the snow never looked soft and fluffy and fun, it was heaps of grey hard slush.

Fig.1 The big snow, Ireland, 1982 – user ‘spokety’

The streets are quiet on weekend mornings at this time, but a car passes on the street behind, the sound of the engine is muffled because of the snow, that sound brings a rush of memory to my mind of the winter of 1982 in Ireland. A big snowfall arrived just after Christmas that year and schools stayed closed until the middle of January. It was the first time I had a proper snowball fight, we used socks on our hands because all our gloves were soaked through and lined on the radiators drying. I had never before tobogganed and the kids on the road gathered at the big hill every day with heavy duty plastic fertiliser bags to be used as sleds and a glassy runway was quickly established. I remember the cold clean air, the ‘wet dog’ smell of damp duffle coats. I remember the atmosphere, the quietness snow brought to everything. The sound of snow never fails to bring these memories but also because of these memories my present experience is richer.

Sound brings back memories, especially music, which triggers highly charged emotional memories. How the information is brought in by the senses and retained in limbic areas of the brain, which are connected to emotions, creativity and daydreaming is fascinatingly complex. This is fast becoming an obsessive subject matter for me, this connection between sound and image, whether the image is in the mind or on a page I’m eager to explore this and see what it might stir up.

References (Aug 27, 2011). Sensory Memory. [Retrieved Dec 01, 2017] from 

Written by Bergland C.[december 13] – world-class endurance athlete, coach, author, and political activist. [online] also






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