Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?

Villon was not writing as a meteorologist. For him “the snows of yesteryear” were a metaphor for the passing of the great and beautiful women of history. He was lamenting Heloise and Joan of Arc and Beatrice and an interesting sounding personage I need to research. Who was “Berthe au grand pié?” Surely someone can come up with a better translation than “Bigfoot Bertha?”

I, however, am querying the absence of non-metaphorical snow. You know, that white stuff that traditionally falls in abundance in Michigan. I have some happy memories of snowfalls (fortunately my memory has repressed some of the skidding and sliding incidents, the three hour ride home on the bus with my colleague Steve, when it took us an hour to cover the half mile from the main campus to the Medical Center, and the exhortations of an annoying husband who grew up confronting the blizzards of Iowa, “Just move quickly from drive to reverse and rock it”. No, I remember the little ski ramp we built when the kids were little, legions of beloved snowmen (this one from 1970, with Kate and Al smiling happily) and the time we had a houseful of people watching a movie and we took a break to walk in a foot of freshly fallen snow. Sound was muffled, and Andrew’s Golden Retriever, Murray, joyfully led the way.

This year we have had two insignificant little snowfalls. On a practical level I am miffed, because our children gave us a wonderful present this Christmas—unlimited professional snow removal. We want to cash in. I am also bothered because somewhere in my psyche is the feeling that you can’t have spring without winter and the price for the beauty of May is the trauma of February. I must learn to get over that one.

We leave tomorrow for Washington. I do not want to encounter snow as the Pennsylvania Turnpike climbs the Alleghenies. Let Villon wonder, “Where are the snows of yesteryear?” We will be far enough south to see buds on the trees. See you when we get back.

1 comment:

candyschultz said...

Global warming?