Friday, January 25, 2013

From where I stand.

While most of the country shivers under an Arctic blast, we're sweating here in Florida and wondering where our winter went. Because it sure hasn't been here. Not when we are running fifteen to twenty degrees above normal and breaking heat records left and right.

As I see wintry photos appearing across blogs and Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I am transported back to the New England winters of my first twenty-five years. While others are lamenting the accumulating snow and ice, I see crystalline splendor, glistening loveliness. I recall the unique quality of snowfall, its hush that seems to absorb all sound. There is a soft peace to a snow covered world, the harsh edges rounded with fluffy white.

I see photos of snowflakes falling. Giant lazy flakes drifting gently to the ground. Blizzard-driven snow falling sideways in the slant of street lights, gathering on the grass and sidewalks and streets without discrimination. I don't see shoveling multiple times a day or getting out of a warm bed to start the car at 2am, with chattering teeth, so it doesn't freeze. (I don't see it, but the memory is buried in my subconscious, under the dazzling glitter of nostalgia, as I glare at an extended forecast on mid-80 temperatures and hope I don't have to turn on the air conditioning in *January*.)

I'm sure my complaints are falling on deaf (and frozen) ears. Neither of us can step far enough away from our discomforts to see the good. While you daydream of beaches and sunshine, but don't see the humidity and the potential for wildfires and a powerful hurricane season, I can romanticize the way ice encases each individual pine needle and how snow finds a way to perch in thin lines atop a single blade of tall grass. That's the advantage of nostalgia and distance, I suppose. I know I don't want to live in a snowy climate anymore, but I can watch through the window of my mind and appreciate its startling beauty. And it's just me, set adrift on memory bliss.

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