20 February 2012

a strange winter

And what a strange winter it's been. Prepared for the worse, we have gotten the mildest.

Months ago, the hardware store put up signs by the space heaters, the insulation, the firewood, and the kits for covering your windows with plastic.

The signs read: This is predicted to be the worst winter on record. Prepare now!!

It had both an apocalyptic and Boy Scout-ic feel to it, that sign, and standing in the aisle in front of rows of space heaters—designed to bring warmth to a sliver of your world, a corner of your own, a slice of your life—it was possible to feel small and cold in anticipation.

The signs suggested: Winter is inevitable. Cold is inevitable. You must find a way to create light and warmth in the dark because these months will be long and snowy and icy and dangerous.

But here we are in mid-February, and it rained last week.

When it did, the earth smelled like spring and renewal.

The world was sliced open to reveal possibility, new life, and a reminder of just how wrong we can be. The signs we look to are not always right.

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