By Edith Morgan
It’s mid-December in New England and guess who is in charge?
Everything went quiet last night, as we all hunkered down to await the inevitable. Four days from the winter solstice, as it gets dark so early, the snow is falling inexorably on us all. Streets and sidewalks are obliterated, and the skeletons of the deciduous trees stand bare and black. Because it is so cold, the snow is light and fluffy and – thankfully – does not stick to branches. So there should be fewer power outages caused by overloaded trees. But a less than gentle wind is blowing snowflakes around, undoing a lot of the work of all the diggers and sweepers and shovelers. It’s a veritable army of workers out there, trying to keep things cleared enough so that at least emergency vehicles can pass.
So, who is in charge? We who choose to live here know: we play second fiddle to Mother Nature’s whims and wishes. We really make an effort to cooperate with her and try to make it possible to live happily in this climate. I myself can hardly imagine living year round somewhere where there is only one season – and no surprises! Here, it is the surprises that keep life more challenging, and the great exercise it is to keep on our toes trying to stay ahead of what nature dishes out.
Little birds scrounging for food.
There are of course some pluses: for a brief time, the whole world around us is so clean – all the litter, potholes, weeds and other debris are all are hidden in the same, smooth blanket of snow – though not for very long, as it is a week day and a working day for many, so walks and steps and roadways are being cleared even as the last flakes drift to earth.
A few generations ago, snow would not have brought everything to a standstill: horse-drawn sleighs can negotiate all sorts of terrain and were immortalized in the well known song, “Over the River and Through the Woods.”
Animals hibernate (wish we knew how!!), and the ones who have come to depend on us for feeding are sitting on the railing and waiting for today’s handout …
The squirrels watch from the tree nests and come swishing down as soon as some food hits the ground. So all is well in nature.
Naturally, I did not get my newspaper, or maybe it is buried in all that snow. And so far today I hae not received my mail. But at least the power outage preceded the storm, so I can save my candles and flashlights for another time.
Now I can, with a clear conscience, read, write cards and letters and pay the bills. And maybe even rot my mind with a bit of recreational TV. And enjoy the great calm and quiet out there …