The thought descended on me today outside Edmonton city hall that a snowfall is arresting not so much because it falls, as how slowly it does.
Tonight, as I read Berger's An Anatomy of Humour, the spell of snow returns, even though an insight into wintertime is far from his intention when writing that "rapid speed (or the opposite, slow motion) attacks our sense of adulthood and rationality, our feeling that we understand how the world functions. There is an incongruous element that strikes us as uncanny and amusing."
A slow snowfall is incongruous. The earth it falls to has cars and buses and taxicabs fighting for position, jaywalkers darting across roads, police sirens wailing. Once it hits that earth, it is walked over, driven over, complained over. It is quickly shovelled away, piled up, hauled off. It is measured and recorded.
But all of that is still far away as it drifts down.
What else falls into our lives in such perfect slow-motion as snow?