Whether it’s gently or fiercely, when the snow falls we make the best of it. Boots, gloves, shovels, snowbrushes, and ice melting salt become routine.
There are those who revere a good snow covered mountain with a packed powder surface just right for strapping boards onto your feet and careening 700 feet down a slippery slope. For the record, I am not one of them, having never been interested in going 60 miles an hour without several hundred pounds of metal or fiberglass shell as protection.
Sometimes we welcome winters beauty and stillness. There is no walk so quiet as a nighttime stroll when the snow deadens all sound except for its crunch under your boots. There are few views so lovely as a rare winter day when the cerulean sky creates a nearly blinding glare off the white ground.
Now, here we are at the end of the fifth full month of winter; anxiously waiting for spring. The last couple weeks have been teasing us. Temperatures have climbed a bit, out of the wretched cold I-can’t-feel-my-fingers range and into the maybe-just-a-sweatshirt-will-do territory.
Much of the snowpack has melted, leaving patches of white in shady spots the sun doesn’t often reach. Where unforgiving plows left endless days of accumulation there are still mountains over ten feet high. Now they are plaster of Paris dropped onto the asphalt canvas in an attempt to create topography, then stippled, like some elementary art project gone awry.
Buds are peaking through the dirt where I planted bulbs last fall. Over the next several weeks as the air warms they will grow taller and blossom into daffodils, tulips, and crocuses, assuming the deer and rabbits don’t eat them before they get a chance to bloom.
Then, on this last day of March, the snow comes again; taunting, jeering, double dog daring us to crumble. We won’t.
We are ready for the muddy season. A spurt of winter here and there, and longer days with increasing sun and rain will ultimately lead us to trees in bud and flowers in bloom. So bring on the brown; the glorious grit. We are poised on the cusp of a new season, ready to toss off the hats and sweaters and welcome it with open arms and lighter jackets. The mud will lead us to color and warmth and eventually to green.