I was all set to write a somber post.
It reached 50+ degrees here today. While that may constitute huddling around the fire in a fur coat for some parts of the world, Wisconsinites busted out the shorts and found any excuse to be outside.
The warm weather caused a huge melt off of the snow. And, for those of you who’ve never really lived with snow, you may not realize that those pristine white flakes turn to something like this:
Dirty, gray clumps of ice are what’s left as the snow melts away. A combination of human and nature’s detritus litters the ground as the water recedes. It’s not pretty, and it fit my mood.
After too many months of being cooped up, I’m feeling just as clogged and grimy as my neighborhood. Months of ice and sub-zero temps have made my riding my horse, hiking or even just going for a walk nearly impossible. The warm evening mocked me as I ran errands and watched the light sink slowly away.
So that’s where I was, outside on the sidewalk, bitter, taking a picture of dirty snow, when I looked at my feet. Over the weekend I replaced my ancient muck boots (“Wellies” for the fashion conscious) with a new pair. I had them on and thought, “Huh, maybe I’ll go for a little walk. Maybe there’s a BETTER picture of dirty snow to be taken.”
You know what’s really hard to do? Hang on to a bad mood when you’re inner child is squealing with glee.
Splashing through puddles is as immensely satisfying as I remembered. Striding along without worrying about slipping on ice seemed a luxurious kind of freedom. No winter coat or gloves? Like losing ten pounds and wearing brand new skin.
It got even better when I realized that my camera could see what I couldn’t:
It doesn’t smell like spring yet. Instead, the world smelled like a frosted-over freezer, all old ice and half-thawed rotting things. You couldn’t hear the birds over the sound of water running down gutters, under the snow banks, down the sewer drains. The light was fading fast and with it, the last of that warm air.
Still, the magnolias have buds. There’s hope for us yet.
All pictures taken by me, with an iPhone, in deplorable light.