Monday, May 4, 2015

The Winter of 2015 Is Finally, Absolutely, Completely Over! Right?

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”                
--Joseph Wood Krutch

OK: I just have to ask. Is the winter of 2015 finally over? Really, really over?

I know I should believe in spring, which seems to have finally arrived with our first seventy degree day. I want to trust Mother Nature: that the wicked storms of January, February and March are now but a distant and distressing memory. That the record breaking 108.6 inches of snow we were buried under is now almost melted away, save for a handful of mud encrusted piles still hanging around like unwanted guests.  That winter has actually departed, is gone, fini, done, kaput. That’s all folks! Roll the credits. And hey winter: don’t let spring hit you in the fanny as you are leaving!

Yet still I wonder—is that it?  Excuse my skepticism: my PTWS (post traumatic winter syndrome) just won’t let go.   

The calendar says it is now finally, absolutely spring; that our second season officially began last March 20th, seven weeks ago.  The possibility it could snow again is practically nil. The latest it ever snowed in Boston was on June 6th and 7th, 1816, in a time historians dub “the year without a summer”. Six inches of the white stuff fell those two days but that was a "one off" freak of nature, caused by a massive eruption on New Zealand’s Mount Tambora the year before.  The volcanic ash clogged the upper atmosphere and blocked out the sun. Temperatures hovered in the forties for much of July and August in New England. BRRRR! 

But that won’t happen this year.  We’ve seen the last of winter.  Right? Right?! 

I don’t mean to be so skittish about the promise of spring and summer, so untrusting of the natural world that I second guess the blessed arrival of these amazing warm days, open window weather. When birds return to the feeder in my backyard and I return from the cooped up confines of my dark basement to the freedom of a screened in back porch and an Adirondack chair. When delicate green buds appear on the trees and the peepers begin peeping again after sundown. When bright yellow delicate daffodils wave in the breeze. When the Red Sox are on the radio again, playing a game outside, and even if they get swept by the Yankees in a weekend series at Fenway, I don’t really care. When my pasty white skin actually feels the warmth of the sun again! 

Because after what felt like the longest winter ever, ever: I guess it is spring. Wow! SPRING! I’ll take a leap of faith and believe.  WHEW! Thank God!

Goodbye winter.  You are outta here!

Goodbye to multiple mucked up Mondays, events postponed and cancelled, kids driving parents crazy from being caged inside like wild animals because of another storm interrupted school day.  Goodbye to smug friends who escaped this winter and then posted Facebook pictures of themselves sunning on the beach and frolicking in the surf, while back in Boston us sad sacks hunkered down for another blizzard.  Goodbye snow shovels and roof rakes and leaky ceilings and ice dams and overblown oil bills.  Goodbye ice skating rink parking lots and delayed trains and statewide states of emergency. 


I know winter is the price that we pay for calling this part of God’s world home. I know that even though it is our cherished tradition as cranky Yankees to complain about the weather no matter what the time of year, I’d not live anywhere else.  I’ll take four wild and unpredictable seasons over boring temperate climes any day.  But this year, this spring: I get the feeling that because of the months just past, the miracle that is now May, this year promises to be the best spring we’ve had in a long, long, long time.

And that first person to complain about the heat?  Throw ‘em in the last snow bank.

So welcome back spring.  We missed you.


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