Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why do we live in New England, again?

Someone asked that question on the news this morning, in reference to the latest in this winter's parade of snowstorms. As much as I hate the cold and the mess of snow, I can answer that question everytime I read about an earthquake or tsunami or wildfire. If all we have to deal with here is some snow, I'll take it.

That said, this winter has been brutal. One of the intersections about 2 blocks from my apartment has a snow bank that is literally 12 feet out in the road. I wasn't sure I would make it up the hill from my slushy parking spot tonight because the hill was steep and starting to ice over.

I didn't have a good parking spot saved because my car had a sleepover with my mechanic last night. I took it in for the safety inspection yesterday afternoon and was told that my front brakes were too worn to pass inspection. He put my rejection sticker in the window and I drove right over to my mechanic and left the car there overnight.

He called me this morning all in a rage that I had even gone to Mike's for my inspection. "Don't even let that guy put air in your tires!" he said. "Don't leave him alone with your car!" But he fixed the brakes and replaced a few bulbs and called me around noon to say it was ready.

I walked through the snow over to his shop, and I remembered why snow can be thrilling. It was all fresh on the ground, and until I got down by the water it was falling softly and the wind was light. It's tempting to hang out inside during the snow, but going out I was reminded how amazingly white it is. In the city it turns colors of exhaust and smog before you know it, but in the few moments before that happens it is the white by which all other whites are judged. It's soft and beautiful. This afternoon I remembered what snow tastes like, and remembered living somewhere where the snow could be eaten. Even though we get used to it, snow is special every year. This is our seasonal crisis - not wildfires or floods or volcanic ash. It's inconvenient and every year we wait for this to end, but it's darn beautiful, as crises go.

1 comment:

  1. eh, the unusually abundant snow and extended deep cold seems to extend well beyond new england this year.