2 ianuarie 2015

Wintertime, 1976

31 December
In the morning, someone from Thailand of Malaysia, according to the name, started to follow my academia.edu profile. In the country where the respective person should have had ancestors, the New Year was very very close, maybe just few tens of minutes away.

A little later, there was an email, coming from Google Scholar, which announced about a new citation for one of my papers. 2014 was anyway the year when I have received the most citations up to now.

And this was pretty much all the good news for 2014, a year when nothing went well. It also ended badly, with some lack of communication…

But wintertime always brings hope. Few days earlier, in Bucharest … it started to snow like in my childhood. All the time it snows, we believe that it is or it will be like in our childhood. My daughter asked for pictures. I sent them via WhatsUp.

Walking on the frozen street (there were minus 10 at noon), I remembered that day, 38 years ago… I was four. It was the first year when I went to kindergarten. It was early December, and it was snowing so much that it was foggy. For reasons that I cannot remember, we were supposed to go to the kindergarten in the afternoon.

The kindergarten was at the edge of the village. 1043 meters from our house, as Google Earth says today. After 250 meters I have met a colleague whose name or face I do not remember. We started making a ball out of the fresh snow. It took probably 25 minutes to get to the kindergarten, an old four-room house in the middle of a large courtyard. We had a huge and heavy snowball that was rolled for such a large distance by three brave little kids (another colleague had joined us on the way). A fantastic snowman resulted latter in the day. I do not have an exact image of that snowman.

I do remember my parents and my grandmother going down into the cellar and bringing the orange carrot for the nose, taking some corn seeds from storehouse – to be used as teeth, bringing the embers for eyes, searching the darkened cast iron cauldron - for hat, giving us the small pieces of corn cob for buttons, passing the broom made out of broom for the only one arm. However, these were about the snowmen from our courtyard, several of them, during a long winter season. I do have a very exact memory of one of them. But this is another story.

With the one in the kindergarten, I remember nothing else than we pushed that large snowball all over the way, with the last few meters more and more difficult, due to the uphill slope. During the first break we made a disproportionate hilarious snowman out of it. Big first ball, very small body, smaller head (whom would have made and lifted another big snowball?). I do not remember his (or her??) face. Maybe he or she had no face, just a head and a minuscule body?

Those times passed. I am not young any more. Irina is far away. Wintertime as during my childhood is seldom in the Wallachian Plain.

At the time of my childhood, there was no WhatsUp, Google Hangouts, Skype, blogs, Facebook Messenger, Google Plus. Not even computers, to be honest. At least not personal computers ;). And for fireworks, we had only those “starlets”.

But winter ... Winter is still the same, with its magic and promising hopes ;)

Have a fantastic 2015!

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