Monday, February 03, 2014
The snow comes again as I put the plate down on my side porch for our outside cat, Charlie.
These storms come and go as regular as the tides, one more rough winter that we have to endure to get to through to spring. I missed this last year, which was one of the warmest years in record.
I don’t like feeling my fingers ache when the cold works through my gloves; but I cherish the idea that we must go through something to come out the other side, a sense of passage that says we have lived through something, and not sleepwalked through life.
A few weeks ago, I risked driving up the hill after an ice storm only to pull over half way up for fear of sliding back. When I eventually did make it up the hill to do my usual Sunday laundry, the sidewalks were so thick with ice no step was safe. When the man at the coffee shop warned me about falling, I did not listen, and fell.
These last few storms have posed less risk, and yet still become part of the relentless test of will – the way I used to be tested during my life in the cold water flat in Passaic, each hour, each day, each week wading through cold and ice for the inevitable Spring, a rite of passage that allows us to greet spring as a reward.
This year reminds me of those years, and the winter two years ago when I had to make my way half blind from here to Bayonne and back via local light rail, lingering at times on frigid train platforms with the countdown to the next train.
But having two good eyes this year only lets me see the snow better, and does nothing to relieve the cold. We must endure these days in order to collect the benefits of later days – whether it be in this life or the life after.
Storms come and go; somehow the spirit must survive.