It has been winter for 11 years, six months and 7 days. Or so it seems. Actually, it’s somewhat of a normal winter, but colder, dingier, or just stubborner. I’m not sure when the temperature first fell below zero or how much snow and ice we’ve gone, but by this time of the year, especially this year, winter is all pervasive. Like depression, when you’re in it, it’s hard to imagine that it won’t always dominate every thought.
Adding to my winter kvetching has been a five-day virus, just now ebbing after nights of making me shiver so much that piles of down blankets and cat-warmers (several whole cats applied to torso) brought little relief. The dazzle of sun so quickly replaced by another threat of ice and sun, plus those 11 days in Vermont when I felt trapped in a snow globe the sky couldn’t stop shaking, have taken their toll.
Maybe the winter feels longer because Hanukkah was in November (November? What was that like?). Maybe it’s because February was, as always, the longest month of the year. Maybe I’m just impaired by a lack of imagination at the moment.
“Step outside and take a breath,” one of my friends said to me today on the phone. While still talking with her, I did just that, and to my surprise I inhaled spring. No matter that it’s 42 degrees and the moment and snowing. The ground is exhaling, the skies are thickening with the parade of storms to come just day or weeks from now. The winter that could not end will end, and once landed in the new reality, it will be thankfully hard to remember this March afternoon.