It's snowing in the Netherlands. As I gaze out my window, snapping pictures of buildings, church towers, and my orchids, all made more beautiful with this rare white treat, I am reminded of a magical evening I spent in Amsterdam almost two years ago.
It was March 2, 2005. The snow began falling early in the day, and by the time I headed home from work I was forced to leave my bicycle at the office. I trudged through the soggy streets, feeling a little bit like a giddy school girl as heavy flakes sank into my coat.
I relaxed in my apartment, munched on some dinner and decided to make a journey in the snow. So I bundled up and headed out. I walked down the Bloemengracht as the flakes persisted, and had, at this point, completely covered copper-colored roofs, cars and flower boxes in a thick, white dressing. The silence was absolute, as if the normal city sounds were muted in awe of the beauty.
Street lamps shone down on tiny canal streets devoid of cars. Because everyone had either abandoned their vehicle or already parked for the night, the snow fell unhindered by traffic, transforming the Jordaan into an absolutely magical, fairyland of glitter. I only passed a few people that night, and the glow on their faces reflected mine.
When my toes were frozen, I reluctantly headed home. Before heading upstairs, I made a snowman near my front door. A boy of about ten watched me from a third-floor window across the canal, waving frantically and enthusiastically applauding my progress.
For the rest of my life, I will remember those canal streets as one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. Afterwards I cursed myself for forgetting my camera (the picture you see is one I took at my then apartment upon return) but in a way, I'm glad that I have to rely on my memory to recall the streets of the Jordaan that night.