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Monday, February 15, 2010

a thought about winter

We’ve gotten more snow here. I pulled back the curtain this morning, and said, shit, more snow. But now, as I stare out the window in my tiny office and I’m blinded by whiteness, by the glinting and sparkling of billions and billions of snowflakes in the bright sun, I have to admit that it’s quite pretty. (Of course, it would have glinted and blinded me without the extra two inches. But whatever. I’m trying to be positive.)

But really—and this is me being positive again—the sky is blue and February is half over. Eventually, spring will come and I will be able to take the girls to the park, pull ZoĆ« down the sidewalk in the wagon as Stella zips past us on her bike. We will be able to rake the yard, and I will sit on the back step sipping a glass of white wine as I watch the girls dig for worms. That sounds perfect.

I’ve heard people say—hell, I’ve said it myself—that Minnesota winters build character. But right about now I’d take less character. And really, what do we mean by character? We’re just trying to excuse the fact that everyone in this state is crabby for three (and sometimes four) months, and then, as soon as the thaw comes, we all stream outdoors to walk in groups around the lakes, smiling at strangers, laughing uncontrollably. We make plans, become social again. We are *reborn*.

I’d just as soon take happy year-round, thank you very much.

The thing I’m looking forward to most is running. I actually ran, slowly, yesterday. I stepped carefully over ice and snow, music blaring into my ears. And it's true that I felt alive. But I can’t wait to run in shorts and a t-shirt along the river as the trees begin to turn green. I can’t wait to nod and smile—we’re so happy!—at the other folks out running and walking and smiling. I’ll be so damn positive you won’t even recognize me. I promise.

15 comments:

Nancy said...

Me too! Dammit! Sometimes the Middle is the pits!

Ines said...

I love your spirit of description. So true. So honest.

Mary said...

Living in CA now for 15 years my husband misses the winters (of Wayzata, of NH, of NJ) because the seasons help us regulate, provide balance,...and without them the spring isn't as welcomed and the fall not as cherished. I agree with him sometimes, but I got darn tired come February when we lived back east.

cath c said...

as a lifetime new englander, i have said the same many a time, and now that i live in a much less cold and snow clime, i usually poo-poo all the wusses around here. but this winter has been particularly unforgiving even here.

i'm not quite wishing for less snow - not certain it is in my constitution to do so ever - but when son #2 looked out the window a couple of ays ago and enthused, 'look! its robins!' my modd lightened with anticipitation of spring quite a bit, too.

Patty said...

God, I can't WAIT until winter is over!

Elizabeth said...

I live in southern California after thirty-plus years on the east coast, and I can honestly say that I don't miss winter at all. Not at all. Although the seasons here are subtle at best, they do exist, and they are enough for me. Here's hoping you'll feel some warmth soon!

The Blue Suitcase said...

Heehee! Whee! Great post! You know, here in Amsterdam we are having a snowy winter. It's very unusual--the coldest winter in at least 14 years. Yet every family seems to have an old-fashioned sled with runners hidden away. They're pulling their kids to school that way, since they can't bike. Even with less than an inch on the ground and lots of bare spots.

Mummy mania said...

we've also had a much colder than normal Irish winter and I am BEGGING for spring to show itself. Our snowdrops and daffodils and crocuses are making a timid appearance so it's close. And like you - I'll be hapy, happy, happy!

Lisa said...

Oh, I hear you. I'm ready to break up with the winter. I do so love Minnesota, though.

kate hopper said...

Nancy, it IS the pits sometimes, isn't it?

Ines, thank you, my dear.

Mary, this is lovely: "the seasons help us regulate, provide balance,...and without them the spring isn't as welcomed and the fall not as cherished." I do think that's true, but still, I'm so over the cold.

Cath, I'm jealous of your robins! And Mummy Mania, I'm jealous of your daffodils!

Patty and Lisa, I'm totally with you. I know.

Elizabeth, I'd take subtle season changes, as well. I'd be fine with that, at least for a few years...

Bonnie, of course they all have cool old-fashioned sleds!

Life As I Know It said...

I am not a friend of winter. New England winters build character, too, so they say.
I'm a summer kind of girl, and can't wait to see the SUN again :)

Kara said...

Writing to you from Texas where, I'm embarrassed to admit, I've been disappointed it hasn't been warmer... Just creeping into the high 50s, where yes, I've run outside in my cute running skirt without worrying about tripping on chunks of snow or sliding on ice. And where my girls are running barefoot and swimming in the "hot pool" every day. It is STILL 30 degrees warmer so I should be thrilled. But my snarky dark side says, "why the hell can't it be 70 like it normally is this time of year?" I will be positive and enjoy this last day of 50 something for awhile...

unfinishedportraitofsam said...

i have to admit that currently, my husband Ben and i are "chasing spring," which is how we describe the traveling season of his career as an agricultural test engineer. so i can't complain because i've left our Illinois winter behind in favor of this Georgia early spring--and it's been a lovely few days here under cool sunshine.

however, i love living in a place with four seasons, despite the fact that i'm moaning and often crying at about this point in Midwestern winter.
it's because when spring comes back, i'm always reminded how ALIVE i feel after the winter.

Scheherazade's Den said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scheherazade's Den said...

Scheherazade's Den said...
once again i relate to your comments about harsh winters, although i hardly think any kind of Australian winter could compare to a Minnesotan one.

here in Melbourne there can be endless grey days during winter, whereas i grew up in a humid and sub-tropical small town where the seasons all blend into one in a sense.

people literally hibernate during this season and burst out onto the streets whenever sunshine hits.

after a recent trip to a warmer climate i know what I prefer. I love the openess of warm weather, the way my boy can run around naked and the endless swims and eating of tropical fruits. it just suits my skin, i'd take it anyday, despite the fact that the heat can melt the brain to the point of comatose it's worth it