I was about 10 years old before I ever saw snow. Growing up in California, snow was something in fairy tales or movies. So were rivers and streams. I grew up in the agricultural center of the state, which is made rich through irrigation. Ditches were my source of open running water. Forget the idea of rain in the summer, either. It didn’t rain in the summer. It rained in the winter. Who knew that that was backwards from the rest of the world.
Now I live in Wisconsin. We get snow. There are rivers and lakes all over the place. It rains in the summer. What a delightful flip flop.
Know how else I know it’s Wisconsin? We talk about the weather. In California, the weather is a non-issue. It’s always the same. Sunny. When you’re in California, the weather is only meaningful to discuss when chatting with someone from Wisconsin and you can use it to gloat.
When I moved to Wisconsin, I didn’t own a winter coat. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I thought that when it snowed, you put chains on your tires. That’s what they do in the California mountains, which is the only place it snows. Life stopped when it rained. You hunker down indoors when it rains and you wait for it to pass. Because it will. It will be sunny again very soon and life can begin again. Wait for it.
Now, I think about the weather. I still don’t talk about it much. It’s more a source of wonder and amazement. Like discovering that fairys do exist.
Time to head out in it. Life doesn’t stop any more.
Susan Scot Fry
Update… Wow, was that ever a good decision.
The drive to Chicago was the perfect time to ask myself what to do about whatever it was I needed to figure out. Snow levels were divine. Temp was perfect. Company, stellar. City, unimaginably crowded and festive. A kiss blown from Puppetbike – Holy Maloney! Winter Garden at the public library. Buying poetry on the street, coffee and a zamboni, the bean in snow that’s starting to slide down, Michigan Ave lights. Lincoln Park Zoo in lightssssss. Dinner in a diner, nothing could be finer than standing under the heat lamps on the train platform home at the end of a joyous day.