Wednesday, March 03, 2010

might as well set my face

The snow is melting in Illinois. Great big piles of white and black gunk are pooling into the ground, and the mud and the muck are starting to emerge. Alleluia. I'm heading to Michigan tomorrow, though, where winter lingers longer. The freeze seems inescapable this year. I moved back to Virginia after two miserable Chicago winters, unable to take any more, and the snow simply followed me there. Blacksburg, Virginia has had more snow this season than Anchorage, Alaska.

I get the hint, already. 

When I first experienced the plains of the midwest, the vast expanse of sky drove me nuts. I was driving through Tennessee to Arkansas, and a crackling lightning storm complete with car-rocking winds and driving rain appeared out of nowhere just as I crossed the state line. No warning, no shelter, nothing to protect me from whatever the clouds decided to throw down. I missed the mountains and the protection they offered. All that sky made me anxious and exposed and vulnerable.

I told a friend about how lost I felt, and he reminded me that the sky is always there. Just because there are friendly mountains in front of it doesn't mean it isn't above them, lurking behind them. "The sky is always there, Dana, even if you can't see it at the moment."

It's like that with the snow, too. I keep fighting it and cursing it and running away from it, but none of that is going to change the simple fact of its presence. Winter comes, every year. The sky exists, all the time. There's little to no chance of outrunning the rotation of the earth or its atmosphere. Save moving to Miami or holing up in the valley, I'm not going to be able to avoid these discomforts. Might as well turn toward them. Might as well set my face. Might as well accept reality and take a couple of steps out into it, exposing my tiny human self to the sky and its elements.

I get the hint, already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're becoming wise, B. Bet you hadn't planned on wisdom coming through the stuff we don't like, but that's the way it works.