Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snowless Winter and Adapting

This is the oddest winter, as anyone living anywhere probably knows. It is snowing in temperate, coastal France this week and here in the Midwest, we have fog and sunshine and rain. Unseasonal? Unreasonable! 

I worried in the beginning of the snow? Warm weather? How would I cope? What would my winter be without the whiteness that brightens the brown landscape of December through April here? As time went on and we enjoyed more time outdoors without freezing our fingertips and noses off, the advantages of warmer weather were felt, even if I continued to glare at those who positively exalted in the absence of snow.

I have finally stopped glowering. I now relax, and make the choice to take each day as it comes. If it snows, we go sledding, enjoying the moment, because it will most likely be gone tomorrow. If it is 55 and sunny, my daily walk is pleasant, a trip to the skate park becomes urgent (for certain family members), and the garbage is much easier to take out.

In my region, we are so used to hardship in the winter; the shoveling and heating bills and cold toes, that we may have forgotten how to enjoy the simple things in life that come to us unbidden. A warm breeze on your face in January, the soft sound of rain in early February, the delightful sight of your neighbors out raking their leaves. Now that Candlemas has come and the light is growing stronger, the feeling of having been cheated out of winter could take over and make me nostalgic for the good old days; of 30 below temperatures and three feet of snow overnight. I could choose to worry excessively about global warming and ponder the dire fate awaiting us.

I will keep living in a green way and learning about our ecological crises. I have sufficiently mourned this year's snowfall. But I will also bask in the warm weather as I take my small dog for a walk through streets free of slush and snow and ice, and look to the coming spring.


  1. Ah yes. I am not a fan of snow usually, but really it's more about being not a fan of DRIVING in snow. I'd rather have the snow present to ensure our land has enough water for this summer's growing season! So, I'm currently worried about that, and hoping that mother earth balances out soon.

    I am trying hard to enjoy the unseasonably warm days though. :)

  2. I take each winter with equanimity. Or at the very least try to. But given the choice, I'd prefer a winter such as this one without a doubt. The only thing I miss about not having snow is that with a large dog in the house we have to spend considerable time each day washing this dog's paws and the floor due to the mud. I think the vexatious nature of this 'missed winter' will be a serious bug and vermin problem this year.


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