I am going outside to look for signs of spring – in spite of the snow. Surely, there are hints of warm weather here and there, something pleasant to write about on a cold Friday morn. So much better than facing tax receipts or worrying about a book signing on a day calling for icy/mix. (Sounds like a cocktail.) I know I’ll find such joys in my yard: half-budded forsythia covered in snow; a hint of a few pink azalea buds showing themselves on a bush on the side of the house; a brave crocus dancing above the ice and flakes. Snow Queen. Maybe I’ll see a bunny, diving raptors in a mating dance, or hear woodpeckers beating out their territorial drum. Cold, cold, cold, but I’ll still see a slight haze of chartreuse – a promise of things to come – then, I will write about the reds, greens and yellows of Mother Nature’s kaleidoscope, the hand of God all over.
The trip outside was a bust. I lasted five minutes. At twenty degrees, I didn’t even walk up to the cul de sac.
Funny thing is if you go outside right now, noon, Friday, February 20th, it sounds like spring. Love is in the air, birds are chirping happily, darting in and out of trees; I saw the neighborhood hawk fly by on an errand and a crow rested proprietarily in a nearby loblolly pine. There is warmth in the air yet none on the ground. And, sad to say, it’s really too cold to write.
I should have known this would happen. I had some bad news yesterday at lunch. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2. And that’s what I get for not keeping up with Mr. Phil. I should have been preparing myself for six more weeks of winter rather than getting excited about spring clothes in the Neiman Marcus catalogues. Six more weeks of lying in bed in a thick blue robe, a cat and cup of hot choc alongside, a pile of new books on the nightstand. Godwin. . . Glass. . . Meacham. . . Heinrich. . .
Perhaps some Conrad Aiken to make me feel better:
The hiss was now becoming a roar – the whole world was a vast moving screen of snow-
But even now it said peace, it sad remoteness. It said cold, it said sleep.
Silent Snow, Secret Snow (1932)
It said cold and Wonton Soup.