Most lifestyle websites are buzzing about beating the winter blues, as though these blues were a plague of some kind. To me, however, the “winter blues” expression carries quite an opposite meaning. I was born in the winter, and most of my happy childhood memories are related to playing in the snow, putting on a fur hat, wearing warm read boots. I remember running around on a carpet that my mom laid out on the show for cleaning, throwing the fresh snow on the carpet, stomping my feet and rolling about. When I was 6, I would always crush my toboggan into a tree, no matter how I tried to avoid it. When I was 8, I put the skies on, stood there for a couple of minutes, took 2 steps and then took the skies off… I tried my hand at skating when I was 16, and the entire skating rink had a good laugh – including myself.
There is a special time at the end of November when you step outside at about 4 pm, and the approaching sunset just looks different. Everything is colored in crisp blue shades! Literally! And then, at the end of every sunny day, these blue shades creep into the city streets. These days I walk home with a huge smile on my face. … It upsets me that many of my friends cannot notice this subtle blue shade…
But sometimes the sky turns into a dense but incredibly soft and fluffy collections of white pillows, cushions and blankets. The sun just rests on the top of them, taking a deserved break from its daily duties. Or maybe the sun and the moon engage in a pillow fight up there. Then the snowflakes come down and paint everything in shades of white.
On the days like this one, I realize that no matter how shaky an academic career could be, and how unpredictable the job market is, there is nothing else that I want to do more than think about my work while walk about the streets of my university, or read books on history of math, and occasionally look at the snow that keeps falling and falling, until the the library and the adjacent houses get equipped with thick white hats and mittens.