Having been born in the shaft of America’s penis, I am no stranger to extreme weather phenomena or the effects they seem to have. Hurricanes the size of Texas (or larger), tornadoes strong enough to wipe out entire trailer parks, wild fires complete with exploding palm trees, droughts that go on forever, floods to drown even the heaviest of duty vehicles, sunburns through t-shirts, trudging ever on in the gelatinous humidity and wishing you had a knife to cut your way through, winds whipping debris around fast enough to slice your limbs off…these are my childhood companions. We Floridians know how to party, let me tell you. As fun as all that sounds (and some of it really can be fun), each and every one of those things is on the list of reasons why I chose to leave Florida in a permanent kind of way.
I spent my first New York summer listening to people talk about how humid it was. The fact of the matter is that New Yorkers haven’t the foggiest idea as to what constitutes true humidity. Admittedly, it was hot, but not hot like the southern stanky, sweaty, feel like you are walking through a sun fueled sauna hot. Long story short, I learned to drink more water and felt pretty good about myself for conquering all the weather patterns ever. If only I had known how ill prepared I was for the seasons to come.
Did you know that frozen water falls from the sky here? The tiniest little water crystals literally float down on the wind. They call it snow.
That is absolutely right, folks. In this part of the country, it gets cold enough that what should be the rain I’m so very used to freezes well before the clouds even decide to poop it out. It then proceeds to fall slowly to the ground where it does one of two things. It either melts on contact to form ice cold puddles designed solely to seep into your shoes and break your soul, OR it hangs on for dear life, clinging to the surface of cars and sidewalks, and begins to build upon itself. Sheet after sheet of these microscopic ice crystals join together to form mounds of frost burn fluff. It’s really quite an inconvenience no matter how you look at it.
Whether you’re dealing with melted, dirty puddles of frozen death or an endless sea of (mostly) white, most of us end up doing exactly that: dealing with it. You might make a snowball or two. Perhaps a sculpture of some kind will take shape on your balcony before the sun has a chance to take it all away. And perhaps not. The majority of us will simply list off some expletives, grab our snow boots and deal with it. Shovels, snow plows, rock salt and a wary eye on the hunt for hidden pockets of ice…these are our weapons. Not a bad set of tools to be certain, but maybe we can open up to some happier aspects of the seasonal sky fall to lighten the mood.
Anything worth anything has a bit of a down side. It will be inconvenient, difficult or downright dangerous. Puppies, those adorable little fluff buckets of licks and loyalty, make a huge mess out of pretty much everything. Roses, long traditionally a symbol of love, have their thorns to prick the unsuspecting finger. Graduating from a university is no cake walk, but I’m told that piece of paper I got will pay off in the end. All give us some kind of joy or reward, yet all have aspects to be dealt with.
Now let’s zoom in and take a look at snow. If you’ve never seen a close up image of a snowflake, you should do yourself a favor and check it out. Each and every one forms a unique and altogether beautiful crystalline pattern. We’re talking 100% natural miniscule kaleidoscopic frozen works of art, and all we have to do to experience them is wait for the cold. Snowmen are formed by billions of these little crystals coming together and holding hands. Until we shovel, plow and trod all over it, the rolling hills of crystalline communion could not possibly be any whiter. It truly is miraculous and pretty darn cool.
So, my friends in cold places, before you curse the sky for raining down ice upon you, remember that you are seeing nature’s art dance in front of your eyes. Before you scream obscenities and grab a shovel, marvel at what it is you are about to encounter first hand. Yes, there are things to be dealt with, but it helps to remember the beauty of the inconvenience.
Be well, my lovelies, and happy Monday.