Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Winter of our Discontent

I know there are reasons to be cranky about all this snow. It's heavy and expensive and dangerous to drive in and it's dangerous to be up on your roof trying to shovel it off and it's bone-cracking cold and the furnace is cranking and the kids are home from school which means they'll be in school during vacation(s) and it just keeps coming and coming and coming.

And I say I love it. I am lucky because I have a warm home and a cozy place that is safe from the elements. For these things I am humbly grateful. When I get in a hot shower each morning, I think of what a luxury it is. I do not take my warmth for granted.

But I have always loved snow, and I love it this winter, too. There is a feeling during a tough New England winter that is paradoxical, and it is appealing to me on both sides of the paradox. On the one hand, there is a fight for survival, warmth, and safety that brings people together and creates a wonderful feeling of communal energy and purpose. On the other hand, there is a wonderfully quiet "coming inside-ness" that I love even more. I sometimes get tired of always having to be on the go, and a blizzard is about the only thing that provides a reason to just do nothing. Nobody I know does nothing without feeling guilty. We should be checking our email and finishing that project and cleaning up and working out and running errands and organizing our lives and balancing our books and walking our dog. I even feel guilty if I don't keep going while I'm sick. "I should just take some medicine and get on with it."

But I don't feel guilty if I do pretty much nothing during a blizzard. I feel completely justified reading, napping, doing crosswords or playing backgammon with my son. I paint my daughter's nails. I snuggle with Augie the doggie. I stoke the fire, then I take another nap. I feel like I'm insulated from the world, and sometimes that's just a good way to feel.

So I know I'm in the minority, but I say "bring it on, Mother Nature."  Most days I work really hard, and I could use at least one more snow day and another cup of tea.