It appears that we are in the midst of the winter that never ends. Fitting that it would occur during our last winter in the Northeast of America, like a great big send-off party. Old Man Winter or the White Queen or the Canadian wind currents or whatever causes these blustery, snowy days has decided, on this first official day of spring, to douse us with one more good snow storm, lest we forget, after three months of not seeing the ground, what a good snow storm is really like. Last Friday we had a few nice spring days, temperatures almost reached 70F, and I started to wonder if I had wished the winter away too quickly. After all, we’re moving to the land of parched deserts, sunny beaches, and endless summers. We should be over and done with slippery sidewalks, dirty, salty cars, chapped hands, static-y hat-head, storm windows, fear of power failure, dangerous driving conditions, flight delays, bulky long underwear, heart-attack induced shoveling, door-blocking draft stoppers, frozen pipes, having to quadruple-layer your kids before they can exit the house, and dark nights beginning at 5 pm. Whew! The thing is, as we were taking a jog on one of last week’s (prematurely) pleasant spring afternoons, I was tempted into thinking that I might have been too hasty to give winter the heave-ho. After all, come December in Australia I might be pining for a white Christmas, the first snowflakes crystallizing on the windowsill, piles of snow layered on evergreen trees like Cool-Whip, houses adorned with twinkling fairy lights and red bows, signaling the coming of a Northern Christmas. Skiing, sledding, or snowman-making during days off from school, and sitting by a roaring fire while sipping a cup of hot chocolate as the utter silence of a snowy evening envelopes us inside our cozy house at night. Will I still want to listen to Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” and bake gingerbread when it’s 90 degrees out and I’m wearing a tank top and flip-flops while the kids play outside in the pool? Will I feel like I just exchanged presents at a great July 4 barbeque and Christmas just slipped on past? During past visits to Australia, the summery temperatures were such a blessing, but upon return it almost felt like Christmas hadn’t really occurred. Will I still feel that way when I live there? Will a few crisp mornings in July feebly imitating the winters I am used to get me by until I no longer miss it? Until today I pondered these thoughts, worried that I might truly miss my snowy winters, anxious that I might not be ready to trade them in for barbies and surfboards forever. Until today, as crazy as it may seem, I had really begun to question my relief over the end of winter. So winter, as if on cue, responded. It snowed over 8 inches last night and it’s still falling. I had to collect boots and gloves and snow shovels packed away in the basement. Marcus had to sweep and scrape cars, shovel, and plow. Ha ha winter. Not funny. You called my bluff. I am now completely, totally, absolutely sure I am ready to leave snowy winters behind. I am perfectly happy to bake cookies in July and wear a bathing suit in January. I am totally accepting of a “winter” where a sweater and light jacket will suffice. I am ready to throw out my long underwear for good, and not worry about leaving a water bottle in my car overnight. As for today, I am more than ready for Aslan to show up and have my springtime back.
Future anthropologist and part time professional ballet dancer
- Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.