Winter and I got off to a bad start last year. I spent much of my first New England winter waiting out four blizzards with a broken arm and wondering if I’d ever see green again. So this year? This year, I’ve been determined to enjoy, or at least appreciate, the darker months. Here’s the story of our one lone snowstorm (so far)… stay warm and look for the beauty!
Here’s to anticipation because meteorologists are not clairvoyant. We know that. Everyone knows that. But we are people of plans and details and we crave prediction, accuracy right down to next Thursday’s temperature at 2pm. So there’s the woman on TV with the announcer voice, the man with the Doppler radar throwing out guesses and models. The consensus is nobody knows so go ahead, get your bread and milk.
Here’s to the week before when every bright day is a gift of cloudless blue and bare trees that seem etched into the sheer face of sky. So deceptive when you’re indoors, because how can the cold be so beautiful? You run errands without a coat, and remember yes, there are some days even the sun can’t thaw.
Here’s to last minute grocery lists because the forecast is looking solid (ish), and you don’t dare run out of your staples: bread, milk, cans of soup or — let’s be honest — tortilla chips and TP.
And here’s to coffee shop afternoons and a night on the town before the blizzard comes. Call it Cabin Fever Prevention. ‘Cause tomorrow, honey, you ain’t goin’ nowhere. The sun goes down. There’s a bite to the air, a sign of things to come.
Here’s to those first flurries drifting silent from gathering clouds. You can relax now, finally! It’s here. The wind kicks flakes into drifts, and the other side of the window looks like television static — gray on white on gray. The rattling snow plows can’t keep up, but they’ll keep vigil all night if they have to.
Here’s to rest. Here’s to blankets and coffee, good books and hot stew, guilt-free loafing, because your work is done. There’s nothing left to do but wait it out.
Here’s to morning, and peeking out the window to see a landscape erased. Cement, cars, cigarette butts in the gutter— the cast-off detritus of the city is wiped clean and white, blazing with the glare of the sun. Even scrawny, shivering trees get their shot at glory, robed in crystallized icy splendor now.
And finally, but not least of all, here’s to the clean-up. Because oh, we all hate shoveling, but look around at your neighbors stumbling out into the daylight, out from their hibernation, stretching and squinting in the sun. They pick up shovels and get to work. And the labels between us — friend, acquaintance, stranger — even those are wiped clean if only for one morning.