It wasn’t until a friend pointed it out to me that I realized it – I was hibernating. That explains a lot, of course, including why this blog has been silent for so long. You wouldn’t have thought that humans hibernate, but perhaps if we are faced with winters like these, everyone should.
In other parts of the world, perhaps, people wake up to the cooing of cuckoos or the cawing of crows. Here I seem to wake up to the music of the snowthrowers.
The season started off in dramatic fashion – one day in November, we had perfect fall weather – temperature in the mid 50s, very pleasant if you put on a thin jacket or a sweater. We were feeling lucky to have such great weather in November. The snow Gods too, must have thought we didn’t deserve such luck, so that very night, the Gods decided it was time for snow. The Gods don’t do anything in half measures, so it snowed all night and it snowed all day, and soon we had a foot of snow covering everything in sight.
A few days later, we had more snow, and then even more snow.
This is how my deck looked like at one point:
In case you couldn’t read what that scale read, it’s 20 inches:
For those of you in India who have never seen snow, and think it is beautiful – you are partly right. Snow is beautiful – when it is pristine, and distant, like on some mountain slope twenty miles away. It stops being beautiful when you have to drive on it, while watching cars spin off the road right in front of you, and others try to demonstrate that it’s not only Toyota drivers who seem to accelerate when they really need to brake.
Soon the cold comes in and the snow turns to ice. That’s when things start to get really dangerous -when surfaces that look clean and black are really hidden traps that will make you slip even if you are wearing your hiking boots. When even cars driven by the good drivers start break dancing in the road.
It’s only January, and the snow seems to have gone on forever. We have already broken all time records for snow, and it still keeps coming. Every few days, or as soon as R clears the driveway, the Gods cover it up again with an inch or two of snow.
So I wake up nearly every morning to the sound of snowthrowers. It’s not exactly music to my ears, and not because I prefer birdsong. Cuckoos may herald the arrival of spring in India, but it’s no lilting sounds that I’d like to hear. I am waiting to wake up to that unmistakeably harsh, loud, grating sound that heralds spring in the Midwest – the sound of the lawnmower. I am convinced I will find the noise sweeter than any birdsong.
I’m only sad that it is still a good many months away.