The past three months have been a long, hard road. I can’t say that it wasn’t worth it, but I can say that once it’s finally over, the time spent will not be missed or thought of fondly. Today’s big announcement might be obvious to some and completely overlooked by others. Maybe you care too much and have been counting the days right along side me. Maybe you don’t give a rats ass that today is the day that things start to get better for me, and you, and, well, pretty much everyone.
For a while there, I thought I’d never be warm again. That maybe I would spend the rest of my life an unhappy, rigid, cold bitch. Today marks the day that my soul comes out of hibernation, awakening to sunrises of hope and sunsets of molasses. I have been looking forward to this day since the days actually felt like were starting to get longer; those not-so-long-ago days when I lived a helpless existence in Brooklyn, and now I thrive in The Bronx. In just a few short weeks, there will be total and absolute freedom from the icy vortex of the past. I am raising a beer in honor of a little bit of joy for me and all mankind. Let us toast and celebrate.
Happy fucking Spring! I have waited for this day for too many days to count. This has not nevesserily been the worst winter I have ever experienced, but it has certainly been the coldest. I never ever ever thought that I could actually get used to walking around in 14 degrees F weather. Wind chills of -15 degrees? No problem! My secret this winter is what I have so lovingly come to call a “butt scarf.” I considered patenting the term and making millions, but it’s really just a scarf that I wrapped around my butt. I also battled the cold with the usual ton of layers, tights and knee highs under my pants, a hat, and lots of snuggling (and maybe a sip of brandy or whiskey in my tea on the weekends). I ruined one pair of shotty rain boots and have completely destroyed my black Converse sneakers, but I have prevailed and look forward to kissing winter goodbye. I even found a way to wear a hat so I don’t like a 12 year old boy.
Captain Clam is from Winsconsin. The upper midwest obviously got their asses beat this winter. This past northeastern winter seemed like a mild winter according to what the Clam was accustomed to. I asked him how it’s even possible to get used to being this cold. He responded, “This? This is nothing. Try -60 degrees F. That’s something you never get used to.” I can certainly believe that and hope to never have to experience it unwillingly.
I really did my best not to complain about the weather this past winter. Yes, it totally sucked, but what good is complaining gonna do? I promised myself to complain less this year, especially about things that are out of my control (like the weather), and somehow that helped me through the many snowstorms and tragic disappointments of having to wait for delayed trains and canceled outings. All in all, I am proud of myself for sometimes being able to enjoy the past season and making it through like a champion.
Winter in New York City is always hard. It’s ugly. Everything is wet and dirty. Their is very little beauty to enjoy when a black sludge covers everything and your feet are soaked and frozen to death. I used to have a car, so getting around was easy. Now, I walk everywhere. I have adapted to appreciate the good days and learn from the bad days. I admire people who ride their bikes to work, even in the harshest of wintery assaults. I wonder how we ever survived these situations without modern convenience and why the taste of inconvenience turns people into raging crazies. For New Yorkers, winter turns into a 4 month funeral. We all dress in black and grey, still mourning the loss of summer, even though she is always in our hearts, will always come back to us, and will make us complain in the same exact way. It’s too cold, it’s too hot, and we are always Goldilocks.
Day 1 of Spring always wakes me with this urge to look for flowers or the spark of a tree’s rebirth. I have already peeped a few signs that the change has begun, but now I will hunt for proof that this long, cold wait has not been in vain. The sun is out longer, and even though I wake up to the crisp, dark morning air, I still get a sense that the sunrise is warmer and happier than it has been in a long time. And so am I. You’ll see. Everyone will be a little more joyous everyday. Coming and going will start to get easier. Winter coats will turn to rain coats, trench coats, light sweaters, and thin ponchos (ponchos? really?). The air will change and take with it the bad mood that has been conjured by the dark side of time.
Pretty soon all those hearty, meaty, fatty dinners will be replaced with salad, beans, and tofu. My skin will stop peeling and will glow with sunshine’s kiss. Red wine at home (alone) on a Thursday will be replaced with ice cold white wine and tapas al fresco with friends on a Tuesday at 8pm. Mornings will be easier to tackle because the air is freshly scented with dew and delight. I can sleep in a few more minutes because I won’t have to dry my hair or put on a gallon of makeup to hide my winter flesh. The little things become so much more important and the big things get the appreciation they deserve.
Of course I am letting this whole Spring thing get away from me. Late March is hardly a magical wonderland of joy and it’s still gonna be cold and damp and grey for just a while longer. Then there will be a little spot of color here, then a little spot of color there. Pretty soon, life will be filled with mental images of how beautiful nature is and winter will be a recent memory of a trying time that was totally worth the wait.
Read more about the equinox HERE!