--Truman Capote, American Fantastic Tales
I like snow. Heck, I even love snow sometimes.
I know that might not be a very popular sentiment in these parts right now, buried knee deep in winter. Thirty inches of snow last week. Twelve new inches, maybe even more falling, as I write these words. Oh…and another five to eight inches forecast for later this week. Snow. Forty plus days of winter down. Forty plus days to go until the first day of spring. Spring. Spring!? It’s located somewhere in the netherworld of mid-March which can seem so far away in these early February days. Even Punxsutawney Phil scrambled back into his hole on the 2nd, no groundhog shadow in sight, just six more weeks of cold.
To use an apt cliché, we are in the depths of winter. Deep winter. No turning back.
Snow banks climb high on slushy suburban streets as we drive through tunnels of white, and a purple light of dusk falls and snow swirls all around. Venture into the city: snow is jammed cheek to jowl on sloppy byways, buried cars underneath it all, entombed, stopped cold. The sun’s light from a steely blue sky is slanted, sharp and hard, feels chilly even as it sparkles and shines off the snow pack. The “tick, tick, tick” and “whoosh” of the furnace is our household symphony. The screened in porch on the back of the house sits abandoned, a light dusting of snow dancing in little eddies around summer furniture piled high, comatose, refusing to wake up until it is warm again.
And yes, still, I do so like the snow.
You see we do live in a snowy place, New England, yet still at this time of year when it finally does snow, so many of us suffer from weather amnesia and that’s kind of fun to witness, join into. Act surprised, shocked, betrayed even, by a winter whack of precipitation. Groan dramatically as the list of cancellations slide by on a TV ticker. Sit all bundled up like couch Eskimos and watch as breathless weather forecasters and oh so serious news anchors warn of a coming “snowpocalypse”. Shake our heads in disbelief as frenzied neighbors and friends swipe every last loaf of bread and gallon of milk off supermarket shelves.
Down deep I think we all relish having such weather extremes to talk about, complain about, joke about, moan about. We’ll kvetch in exactly the same tones next August when the first heat wave hits and it tops 100 degrees. I’ll bet next summer we’ll remember all this snow, the big blizzard of 2015 and then we’ll smile, look back fondly. “Remember that huge storm? It was wicked!”
Come on. You love the snow. Admit it! Just a little bit?
Because finally, in February, snow and winter are just non-negotiable. Mother Nature is the boss. We can’t wish the season away or dream it away or push it away. Therefore my advice for all of us is to fall back into the snow and make a snow angel. Build a snowman or woman with the kids. Strap on ice skates or snowshoes or skis and embrace the snow. Pop the DVD into the TV and watch “Frozen” for the 113th time with your child and sip some hot chocolate in between singing all the lyrics loud and proud. Enjoy a snow day. Layer up with long johns and fleece and go for a long walk with the dog, a hike in the hushed hills and silent stillness of nature. Shovel and snow blow and get those winter weary limbs moving.
And pay close attention to winter miracles, precious gifts from God. Cold air going in and out of your lungs in great clouds of white mist. The mystical quiet of the day, as if the world is brand new again. The squeaky crunch of footfalls as you make your way to the mailbox. The resurrection like rush when you come back into the house from the cold and begin to warm up.
Yup. It is the second month of the year. Winter. Check the calendar. And since it is absolutely going to keep on snowing, we might as well enjoy it. I’m in. How about you?