Yesterday it rained ice.
It was both incredibly beautiful and incredibly dangerous. Roads were slick and limbs fell. Rachel attempted to capture our Narnia on film, but quickly desisted when the White Witch appeared in the form of a slippery walk and bruised tailbone.
We stayed warm. We played games. We teased one another about books read, or not read, in our youth, and stared often through the curtains. It seemed the ice would never end.
Today we woke to a crystalline world. The trees drooped and dragged the ground, weighty ice straining their knobby and arthritic joints.
“Look, Andy,” I said. “It’s beautiful.”
We marveled and salted and scraped and shoveled and marveled some more.
At some point, when I didn’t even know I was listening, I noticed a steady rain. Water fell fast from things on high; I reached my hand beyond the overhang but felt only the cold and wind.
It wasn’t rain I heard. Instead, the ice was melting, falling onto ground fast turning to mud and marsh. It was louder than rain, this sound of spring emergent. I stood in awe, listened hard and heard the sighs and rhythmic breath of birth, the left-right-left of marching time.
The metaphor did not escape me.
This last year has been a full one. Full of ice and snow, cold and wind, the latter never blowing in our favor. A Hundred-Year Winter indeed.
But spring is near.
Heralded in the soft drip of melting ice, in the sounds of birds, tentative, hopeful. In limbs weeping, shedding icy burdens, stretching up and out in welcome to the much lighter heft of shiny green.
This week’s forecast calls for more snow: Giving birth takes time. And as it always does, spring will fade. We turn a mere quarter and the friendly leaves of summer become foe, covering our lawns and overworking our rakes. The cornucopia of fall foreshadows the hard and lean of winter.
This metaphor also does not escape me.
But neither does it stifle the hope of an emergent spring.
(Turn up the volume to enjoy the video at the end. The photos and video were taken with my iPhone, and from the warmth of doorways. Please forgive my lazy efforts here that do no justice at all to this glorious revival.)