When you live where I live, winter is long. L-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-N-G. We get used to March coming in like a lion and going out like...a lion. Covered in wet slush and the occasional extra foot of snow. Poor lion. This past weekend we got an extra foot or so of the wet, heavy snow. Notice how I toss this off ever so casually because, hey, I'm from WNY. No biggie. Mind you, if it still looks like this 28 days from now, I may weep. Considering once when I was 11 or 12 it snowed IN MAY, I can prepare myself for anything. Or take a side trip to Florida.
Thus I have begun to concentrate on what will not go back: light. I have become a huge fan of the earth's rotation because that makes it so I can still see at 6pm. Let the storms come (please, please go away, winter weather. I am so sick of my boots.)! At least I will be able to use sunlight when stepping into knee-high drifts! (That's not an exaggeration, by the way. Knee. High. Yeah.) When I let the dog out in the morning, I no longer have to turn on the floodlights! Today I even needed sunglasses. Spring is coming.
Then, today as I walked home, I listened to sounds I hadn't heard in a long while: heavy snow falling off the trees as it melted. I haven't yet felt that breeze that really tells me we're done for another year, but I know it's on its way. As an aside, this reminds me of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book The Long Winter, where they all almost froze or starved to death out on the prairies and then, finally, one night, Laura hears the spring wind that means the thaw is coming, and calls out to Pa, "Pa! The Chinook is blowing! The Chinook is blowing! Winter is over!" and they all rejoiced and Pa pulled out his fiddle, which he couldn't play for so long because his fingers were too cold and stiff, and they sang and made merry and baked pies and sewed calico aprons or something like that. Thank you, Grammie, for sending me those books so long ago. How well I remember! In all seriousness, I loved them. And I like having that Long Winter link with Laura.
Every little sign helps, whether it's a few minutes of daylight here or the actual sound of snow melting elsewhere. So in a few weeks, when I put into my Facebook comment, "PA! THE CHINOOK IS BLOWING!", some of you will know what I mean.