By: Blonde Two

How do you describe an experience?

That is the question that was bothering me for most of the night on Thursday night. Mr B2 and I had set off to Dartmoor at nearly bedtime for a winter bivvy camp and had been rather shocked, when at midnight, as promised by the Met Office, we had reached out of our bivvy bags to find that the ‘rain’ we had just been hiding from had, in fact, resulted in handfuls of snow.

My many layers of clothes and I weren’t cold at all inside my sleeping and bivvy bags but I didn’t do much sleeping. Some of the time this was because I had slipped into the dreaded cold-wee-cold-wee cycle but most of it was because the sky was unbelievably beautiful, the air indescribably fresh and the sensation of snowflakes melting on my face totally unexpected.

Imagine if you will, a pool floating above you, lit vividly by a pale yellow moon, speckled with stary lights (without glasses these attain additional stary status) and banked by rounded whisps of ever-moving cloud. Add to this vision the battles of the fantasy creatures formed by the clouds, the tracking of a moon across the night sky and the icy spread of snowflakes as they land on your warm face, and you will get some idea of why I was so reluctant to close my eyes and miss any of it.

We use the word ‘magical’ far too much but for that night I felt as though I had been transported into a fairy realm and was witness to a secret world I hadn’t previously known existed.

Such moments are rare and it is impossible to attain satisfaction when trying to describe them. Here are a few words that came to me during the night:

Snow crystals carried high on Arctic breezes
Smoothing monsters bearing moon lamps
The slow sting of ice flakes
Ice melting on glowing skin
The warm satisfaction of a cold night out