Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You call this a snow day?!?

We have been ripped off this winter, those of us in the Connecticut Valley. We moved here for a reason, at least I did--snow!--and there has been so little it's pathetic. We keep getting these storm watches and snow warnings, and then we get nothing. We get all revved up--Northampton, UMass, and even Simmons College, canceled classes today--and there's nothing. I don't blame anyone, not even the weathermen, certainly not the people closing all these places. How could they know?

We sit and watch all these places all over the eastern seaboard getting hammered, places with no snowtrucks or sand and people who don't ski or have warm gloves. The ritual of a snowday is one everyone I know looks forward to, adults and kids. All bets are off, you get to stay home all day and make cookies, or sleep, or Wii, or watch movies. You are with your family, you can bundle up and go outside and make a snowfort. If you're really lucky you have a potluck with your neighbors. If you're really, really lucky you wake up and the trees are heavy and at least a foot has fallen overnight.

And then when you do go back into civilization, there's a certain quality of the air, a very blue, cloudless sky on all that fresh snow, the freshly plowed streets, seeing your neighbors, getting into the woods or on the slopes to enjoy the stillness and the light. There's nothing like a full moon on snow. I never really understood how light can be cold until I saw that. "I'm being followed by a moon shadow"--what the heck is a moon shadow? Now I know.

And then, in late February, when everyone is sick of it, and it's sugaring season and everyone comes out of the woodwork on the weekends, to stuff themselves with overpriced pancakes and fresh syrup. Then it's the mud season of March, and early April. But we start to get buds then, and even some flowers, and the birds come back, and the clocks change and we get our light back. It's all so worth it. But I have to have a solid, snowy, cold winter to make it all worth it. Otherwise it's just cold and rainy and muddy for three winter months and who wants that.

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