Life in Community

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Life in Community

Snow Falling on Gum Trees

July 27, 2015 by

For a country that boasts larger snowfields than Switzerland, Australia has one minor problem: it never snows. At least, not in the part of Australia where I live. Like, never.

Well, hardly ever. To my knowledge, the last time snow fell here at Danthonia and stuck around long enough for someone to grab a camera, was in the early 1980s – back when they actually put film in cameras.

But then last Friday we woke to a grey dawn and a bank of snow clouds moving over the gum trees – and shouts from our boys and the neighborhood kids as thick, fat, white flakes fell over the bushland.

For most children in Danthonia, this was the first snow they’d ever seen in their lives. They ran out to welcome it. Their eyes shone with wonder as they caught this stuff they’d never seen before and watched it land in intricate patterns on their jackets.

a group of children proudly posing with the snowman they built

Later, when an enterprising teacher organized a bus to take the primary school kids to higher elevations where an inch of snow almost covered the grass, they went wild: sledding, building snowmen, throwing snowballs, giving and receiving “face washes.” It was a morning of new experiences, new vocabulary, and memories for a lifetime.

three ecstatic school girls sledding for the first time in their lives

But, to paraphrase Robert Frost (who commemorated his share of winters, in a different New England half a world away), nothing cold can stay.

Which is why, this morning, the kookaburras and lorikeets shouted us out of bed, heralding another sun-warmed, shirtsleeve, midwinter day.


Norann’s husband shot the video below. Enjoy!

Watch on YouTube.

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About the author

Norann Voll portrait

Norann Voll

Norann Voll lived in New York’s Hudson Valley until moving to the Danthonia Bruderhof in New South Wales, Australia in 2002...

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  • Greetings Mrs. Voll, Loved your story of the rare snowfall you experienced and the joy all had with it. I'm hoping you are related to Jerry and Nancy Voll, as I've lost touch of them from back in the mid 1990's. My wish is that they are still well and happy, and that just perhaps, they might connect with me once again. Warm Regards, Joyce and Doug

    Joyce Bergquist