Thursday, March 29, 2018

Blizzard Brain

When the sun came out after the most recent Nor'easter, everyone seemed a bit confused. After the roads were cleared and I drove to Portland to see clients, I heard the DJ mention she was unsure what day it was. It was a refrain I heard over several instances in completely different circumstances: people not sure of day or date. After a couple of weeks of epic, multi-inch snow storms, school cancellations, rescheduled events, grocery shelves cleared of milk, bread, and wine and the switch to daylight savings time, Mainers were in the throes of a post-blizzard befuddled brain.
The Four Blizzards of March
(photo courtesy Washington Post)

Through all of it, I had electricity and internet and determination of the ever-falling snow to get my work done. High winds buffeted the windows and the snow created a misty, ephemeral cloud over the neighborhood. I was envious of the super-powered snow removal equipment blasting their way through the streets outside. I wanted to be high above in the cockpit, accomplishing something beyond words on a screen.
Bangor Daily News, March 19, 2018

This winter, in the words of The Washington Post, "was one for the record books."  March's storms demanded flexibility, self-resourcefulness, scheduling and a sense of preparedness. As the apocalyptic news reports triggered reschedulings, I was reminded of a cartoon depicting the preparations for warring posses coming to the main street of the western town: bustling mums, shopkeepers turning their signs and closing the curtains, and the hurried closure of shutters and doors while they anticipated the gunfight to ensue.

As the sun and brilliant blue sky now unfold in the aftermath, we wait for the thaw and the inevitable coming of spring and summer. The sun is getting stronger. Temperatures still hover at the freezing mark. Mainers are feeling the fatigue in the boots that they wish could be tucked away until November.
The morning of March 25th. A little fresher upper. 
I had a housemate in Alaska who was an ultra-marathoner, using my house for training over 6 weeks between Hawaii and his seasonal job in Denali. One day he was gone for hours, running through neighborhoods and across trails.  The front door opened as I worked at the kitchen table when he silently slipped in the door and headed to the refrigerator. He was quick and deliberate at the stovetop, preparing a veggie burger, and moved to the table across from me. He was a man of faith and took a moment. Then he consumed an epic sandwich in gulping bites. Tears ran down his face as the relief of calories hit the depleted cells in his body. I watched in silent wonder.

For now, many of us in northern climes are hungering for warmth and the sun. We stretch like seedlings at the windowsill, beyond the robins flitting about the small patches of grass on south-facing fields and the bare branches full of promise, to the inevitable summer.