Being snowed in had a magical quality. The sun hit the snow and reflected light to warm the air. The icicles formed in and around the rain gutters as the snow melted off the roof. Some large enough to knock you out. I remember kids trying to lure other kids they didn’t like below these large icicles. Keep them there with some sweet, long-winded filibuster of a story. Wendy Davis style.
I often wished for the larger stormfronts to come over us those winters. I loved the early morning moments when my brother and I hung by the alarm clock radio, listening to the announcements of school cancellations. Waiting. Holding our breath. And the incredible feeling when our school was announced.
A blizzard can be a joyous occasion. You feel protected. Insulated. You don’t really know what’s going on around you, and you don’t care. Neither does anyone else. Sure, after a few days like this, you might get a little stir crazy, like Jack Nicholson‘s character in the Shining. The blizzard of ’78 was one such opportunity. I was too young to remember much, but where I lived the snow banks surged to eight feet high. School and work were all called off with a one-liner over the radio. All recreational events, suspended. Excepting procreation. The zoo was closed. Or just confined to your own home.
Imagine, no contact with the outside world. Power lines down. Incommunicado. You lit candles off gas stoves to get around your house. All was so quiet, inside and out. Introverts threw a party and no one came. Everything stood in stark contrast to the usual. We built fires. Watched the light and shadow play. Rituals were fresh and wonderful, except shoveling snow. Alot of people who had become plants over time in their homes (planted by the television), lost their lives trying to shovel their way out of their homes during blizzards. Heart attack city.
With television disabled, loving, mindful family interaction was again possible. For some. Hateful families got to go back to hating. Stress often took a back seat to more significant feelings. What could you do? Nothing. You were snowed in. You had to feel. You got an opportunity to feel. This could last for days! I must admit that, after a while, I wanted the old thing back.
I am grateful to have safety and security of my home, my village, my city, my state, my country, my world. insulated from the wars being fought across that Atlantic, across the Pacific. My love of country is easy to see, in the transparency of my gratitude for what my country has given me. I have been free to follow my heart and my passion and my conscience to great lengths. Yet still, I can see it slipping sometimes. The great freedoms we have been blessed with in the USA. Homeland security is one thing. But sometimes, I must admit, I want that old thing back. (…tbc)
by Katya Mills, katyamills.com 06/13