I arrived home from work today, just in time for the opening volley of a February blizzard. Like a good blogger, I grabbed the camera, ventured out into the 1″ of snow, took some photos, and hummed a few songs to myself — songs better suited for Christmas.
First, let me say that I loathe snow. My loathing is contingent upon the depth of said white stuff. The deeper it gets, the loathier I get. While the weather forecasters have reminded us of this year’s snow deficit, that is of little consolation to me.
I dislike dressing in layer upon layer just to go outside to get the mail. The cardiologist has given me strict orders to not even think of shoveling this marshmallow world. And here on Long Island, we are very often on the cusp of snow and water, which means that a snowy day results in a super-sized slushy. So, let me say that I will not powder this post with words like fluffy and blanket and sugar. This will not be an ode to snow.
That, at least, is my first reaction when I see snow. It isn’t until I really look at snow that I can embrace its wonder, how it blows and drifts and catches on branches. Snow, I think, makes me appreciate evergreens more than ever.
My window of awe is a brief one, and this is my moment to enjoy winter white.
Part of the blogging experience is visiting other blogs – for advice, for ideas, and in the case of this post, for inspiration. I recently visited Visionary Gleam, where Jim Lewis posted “O Tanenbox, O Tanenbox,” a humorous and poignant look at his family’s Christmas tree tradition and the story of the ornaments.
I am a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to this most wonderful time of year, a fact that seems to worsen as I age. Jim’s well-written post, however, has left me thinking. A lot.
No matter how cynical I have become, the Christmas tree has always remained my favorite part of the holiday. Now, as I drive around town and peek into the windows of my neighbors and see their decorated trees, I wonder about their stories – and I reflect on the ghosts of my own Christmas trees past – long past and recent past.
There’s a handwritten sentence in the baby book my mother started for me when I was first born. There, in her cursive writing, is a brief sentence about the moment when the love affair began: “2 1/2 years old . Really knows what it’s all about . . . He says the tree has meatballs and a star.”
It’s time for me to open up and reveal something about myself. I must confess, now that I’m about to write out the words, I’m feeling a little self-concious. But there is no turning back now. Accept me or reject me, the choice is yours.
I never really knew this was an issue for me. I embraced my circumstances as something natural. It wasn’t until I read about it in a book that I wondered, “Am I really that different? Are there others out there who are like me?” So, I’ll take a deep breath and come out of the proverbial closet. I experience nature both ways. I am bi-zonal.
The newscasters and weather forecasters are having a field day with the heat wave. They’re frying eggs on the pavement and baking cookies in cars and they have a new term, “heat dome,” to describe the blistering weather pattern. The urgency in their voices reminds me of “The Twilight Zone” episode where the Earth is moving closer to the sun. These are the same people, mind you, who whip up winter hysteria when snow is predicted. It seems that no matter what Mother Nature throws at us, she’ll never make everyone happy.
I must admit, though, I am enjoying the heat dome — or as I call it, summer. Yes, it’s hot, and yes, I’m spending lots of time quenching my thirsty plants. For lots of reasons — too many to get into here — I like the warmth. I like the casualness of the season. And I like the time spent in the garden, because the days of the heat dome are numbered.
In honor of this sentiment, I would like to share a few hot colors from around the yard, as well as a few cool thoughts to remind us of what was and what will come.