겨울하면 생각나는 것은 먼저 눈이 내리는 광경이고 하얀 설원에서 펼쳐지는 스키어들의 멎진 모습들이다.
추운 겨울에 아랫목에서 군밤과 고구마를 먹었던 따뜻한 아랫목과 윗풍이 심하게 불어 얼굴을 내밀고 잘 수 없었던 추억의 방과 중량천에서 스케이트를 타며 강추위 속에서 오뎅 국물에 몸을 덮혔던 일들이 아련히 떠오른다.
자연 속에서 삶을 헤쳐나갔던 50여년 전의 우리네 삶이 그다지 궁색하지 않았고 마음은 항상 편하여 철부지의 즐거웠던 날들이 아름다운 추억으로 되살아 난다. 요사이의 겨울, 각 지방과 나라마다의 독특한 정경이 얼어붙은 마음을 훈훈하게 해준다.
추운 겨울은 이완되었던 몸과 정신을 번쩍 차리게 하는 묘한 매력이 있다. 추위 속에서는 정신을 잃으면 얼어 죽을 수 있어 우리 몸이 바짝 긴장하며 경계 태세로 무장하여 세상을 똑바로 보게 되는 이점도 있다.
A young Romanian makes his way through a blizzard in central Bucharest, Romania, on Jan. 26. The storm cut electricity in 182 localities, 364 public schools were closed, 28 flights were canceled, two highways and 24 national roads were closed, and one train was derailed.
Birds grab a bite at a snow-covered park in Sofia, Bulgaria. Most of the nation is suffering from severe winter conditions, including extremely low temperatures and heavy snowstorms.
Japanese wild monkeys sit in an open-air hot spring at the Jigokudani (Hell's Valley) Monkey Park, in Yamanouchi, Japan.
Matt Redmond, 3, and his father, Mike, zoom on a sled after an overnight snowfall in Baltimore on Jan. 21.
Some commuters walk toward a rail station as the snow accumulated in downtown Chicago on Jan. 20.
A woman pushes a cart to her car as snow fell in Chicago on Jan. 20. The storm caused hundreds of flights to be canceled at O'Hare International and Midway airports.
Sledders, skiers, snowboarders and pedestrians take over a snow-covered street in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle on Jan. 18.
A frosty fog stretches above the Yenisei River with temperatures at about minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on Jan. 17.
A musher and his dogs run through the village of Bonneval-sur-Arc during the eighth stage of the La Grande Odyssee sled-dogs race on Jan. 16. The race crosses the Alps in France, covering 621 miles over 11 days.
Kashmiri women play in the snow in Srinagar, India, on Jan. 16. The snowfall cut off the valley from the rest of the country.
A daisy is covered in hoarfrost on Jan. 16 in Cologne, Germany.
Tyler Courtney clears his driveway Jan. 13 in Canton, Ohio, as a winter storm swept across the Midwest.
A crossing guard stops traffic as children walk to school in cold and snowy weather as Illinois receives its first significant snowfall on Jan. 12 in Springfield, Ill.
People skate on ice paths Jan. 12 at a park in Moscow.
Men fish on a frozen canal Jan. 12 in Beijing, China. Despite few and very small fish living beneath the ice, a number of enthusiasts enjoy spending long hours sitting in the cold waiting for a bite on their line. For most it is just a pastime, and they release the fish back into the water. Others hope to bring home something fresh to eat.
A girl forms a snowball Jan. 6 on snowy stairs at the Olympic stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
A young girl goes down an ice slide Jan. 5 at the International Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China. The annual three-month festival attracts visitors from all over China as well as a number of foreign guests who brave below zero temperatures to see colorful large ice and snow sculptures, ride horse-drawn carriages and enjoy a number of winter activities set up on the sidelines of the festival.
A Catholic priest looks at the ice altar Dec. 28 inside a church made of snow in the Bavarian village of Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany.
People build snowmen and ride a sled in Kolomenskoye, a historical and nature reserve museum in Moscow, on Jan. 1.
Beijing residents enjoy skating and sliding on the city's frozen lakes in the Shichahai district on Dec. 29, 2011. Winter has brought a light snowfall and temperatures rarely above freezing in China's capital.
The sun shines on snow-covered stables in Sapuen, in the Swiss canton of Grisons, on Jan. 3.
Men warm themselves by a fire at a railway yard on a cold winter morning in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on Jan. 3.
Tourists have dinner inside the Balea Lac Hotel of Ice in the Fagaras mountains in Romania on Dec. 28, 2011. Entirely made of ice, the hotel offers accommodation in 10 double rooms with king size beds, at a price of $45.73 per person.
A father and his son pull a sled through the snow at the Feldberg mountain in Germany on Dec. 20, 2011.
A winter swimmer jumps with a mop into the icy water of the Songhua River in Harbin, China on Dec. 26, 2011.
Cross country skiers slide during sunny winter weather near the Swiss mountain resort of Davos on Dec. 27, 2011.
A horse stands in the intense wind and snow near his corral off of Highway 70 in Las Cruces, N.M., on Dec. 5, 2011. Snowfall started to blanket the City of the Crosses at about 11 a.m. and steadily continued throughout the day.
A woman walks through trees during a snowfall in a park in Beijing on Dec. 2, 2011. It was the first snowfall of the winter in the Chinese capital.
This winter has been extremely beautiful in Lithuania. It was an early morning and minus 25 degrees Celsius outside.
This was captured on Mount Wellington in the capital city of Tasmania, the island state of Australia. This mountain overlooks the city and is only a ten-minute drive from it.
Going for a dogsled ride in Igloolik was an amazing experience. White light, snow lightly falling, and only the sound of the dogs and sled beneath you.
trees covered in snow, taken outside of West Yellowstone, Montana.
The weather that day at Monument Valley called for a big thunderstorm; instead we got white-out conditions. Dramatic skies and a contrasting landscape created a very satisfying shot.
Hamlin Lake, Michigan
Snowy road, Netherlands
Sovetov Peak, Kazakhstan
Winter storm, Maryland
Grizzly Bear, Yellow Stone National Park
Light from an amazing display of the Aurora Borealis fills the sky—and lends a hue of green to the spring snow—over Vee Lake, located outside Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Freeride World Tour '08, Sochi, Russia
West Highland Terrier
Sparks Lake, Oregon
A gray heron landing on a snow-covered pond in western Germany
A mountain goat sits lazily on a snowy cornice, the last cool spot left on a hot, dry mountain ridge in summer atop the Bridger Mountains, Montana.
This is an ice castle that was built on a frozen Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. In the background is the Victoria Glacier.
View of the top of the Fox Glacier, South Island of New Zealand, from a helicopter
Blizzard on Ai-Petri, Ukraine
Red squirrel in the snow. Winter 2010 in Poland was long and really severe.
View from Snowdon Mountain in Wales
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone
Mallards and geese landing on the frozen lake in Central Park after a big snowstorm
Shot in April 2010 near Seljalandsfoss (waterfall) in Iceland. A young man braved the odds to climb the icy steps leading to the waterfall, but he did not finish the climb and soon turned back. Image cropped, but not altered in any other way.
Cherry Blossoms, Nagano Japan
Femund National Park
Snow-covered Bedni Bugyal on the Rupkund trail, Garhwal, Himalaya. The lonesome log hut stood out amidst a bed of snow.
The name of the statue is Frederik, named after the king who founded Fredrikstad, Norway.
Tallinn city lights during winter in Estonia
After a snowstorm the town of Shefford in Quebec Province, Canada, looked like another city in space. The photo shows the trees and shrubs covered with snow, and the Communications Tower on the left, with its solitary figure, gives the impression aliens have landed here.