Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Snow! Finally!

Over the weekend, the North East was covered with a thick blanket of snow. Storms that bring a foot or more of snow are never "convenient", but this one was as unobtrusive as possible. The timing was perfect for me, because the newest issue of The Essential Herbal needed to be prepared for mailing, so being trapped in the house was exactly what I needed.
It could have been so much worse. Arriving late Saturday and falling into Sunday, there was ample time to clear the roads and vehicles before Monday morning. The magazines were at the post office by noon on Monday! Additionally, the warm ground made removal much easier - although it was the perfectly packable type snow, so it was hard to resist making a fort while shoveling out the car.
As the first storm of the season finally approached, I made sure there was lots of fresh fruit and salad fixin's - along with the mandatory cocoa that Molly has associated with snow since she was old enough to drink it. I also pondered the low grade excitement I felt. Why, I wondered, did it feel so exciting? I work from home, so it wasn't the excitement of staying home from work. I gave up sledding a good decade or so ago, so that wasn't it... and my baby plants are probably going to suffer, so that certainly isn't it. My sweetie is cloistered away working for the next month or so, so it wasn't even the thought of time alone with him.
So I came up with a theory (as I often do, based solely on the wanderings of my mind on that particular day) that storms force us to admit that we are powerless for a little while. Having grown up and lived here most of my life, winters are supposed to include several short periods of time where nature imposes her will, and we submit.
For instance, there was one full week a few years back where nobody went anywhere. That week, I built my website. Couldn't do anything else, so.... Sometimes storms mean reading a book that's been waiting too long, watching sappy movies, or doing something Norman Rockwell with the kid. The storms force us to focus on home or allow us to take on a task we are normally too busy to do.
Either way, it is a part of the rhythm of the year for me. It was exhausting to enjoy the eternally spring-like weather that went on and on this winter! Somewhere in my gut, there was something wrong, and I think I know what it was. Apparently, I've become accustomed to getting these windows of time each winter, where nature lets me off the hook, lets me bail on the whole responsibility thing, allows me to just give up the race for a day or two.
Now I've been refreshed. All is right with the natural world again. It was a beautiful snow!

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