It usually comes slowly, taking its time. At first, it quietly decorates the top of Haldde mountain, while staying away from the city itself. The locals already know what it means – one month from now, it will descend from its desolated mountain outpost and storm Alta with spontaneous rage, covering everything under a heavy and cold quilt.
Snow is an inherent part of our lives in Alta. Whether we like it or not, all of us have to live with it. It provides fun for children, trouble for drivers, opportunity for tourism operators and delight for the international visitors, who come to Finnmark with great numbers each year.
Local residents have mastered the art of controlling this product of winter. Everyday we can see powerful snowplows doing everything they can to keep the streets and sidewalks of Alta clear and passable. Tireless inhabitants of one-family houses take their exercise with a shovel each morning in order to save their homes from becoming buried in a white tomb.
While the snow creates a lot of inconvenience, it also provides us with plenty of opportunities. It would be hard to imagine building a ski resort functioning without it and making a snowman by using mud would sure be messy. More and more cruise ships are coming to Alta each year, filled with tourists craving to experience the authentic ‘Winter Wonderland’. Their growing numbers attract investors, who open their businesses, contributing to the local economy and creating workplaces that are much needed for us, students.
When I go outside into the winter landscape, I feel calm. The snow muffles sound and noises. Getting away from the city’s commotion, you can experience the perfect tranquility. It feels like the whole nature decided to take a break from never-ending cycle of life and death and go to sleep for couple of months. With not much going around, it is a perfect opportunity to calm down, sit alone somewhere in the forest and think of all the things that you never have time for. The snow always listens carefully, with no interruptions and responds with silence. It’s up to you, how you interpret it.