January 31, 2011

As January closes, Central Connecticut has seen more snow in this month than it ordinarily gets in a year. At first, this onslaught triggered delight and childlike wonder in me. Snow, after all, is beautiful. Sledding is fun. Snowmen and snow forts and systems of slides and tunnels carved into snowbanks are great and magical, and when I watch my children play in the snow architecture I have wrought, I feel like the best dad ever.

But now I have managed somehow to injure the muscles in my left shoulder from so much shoveling, such that I can barely move my arm in some directions. The intersections in my suburb are so steeply shouldered that visibility is obliterated and every stop sign is an opportunity for disaster. In Hartford, the streets are impossibly narrow, four lanes frequently having been winnowed to one, and even on my bicycle I cannot get to work in less than three quarters of an hour, although the journey takes but 20 minutes when the roads are clear. I am over my childlike wonder and fully immersed in snow-exhaustion.

Now, in a sure sign either that there is no God or that He is wrathful beyond measure, more snow is predicted for tomorrow. Lots more. I do not like this prediction one little bit, but since I recognize that complaining on a largely unread blog about the weather is even more ineffectual than complaining on a largely unread blog about anything else, i will endeavor to accentuate the positive. What is the positive? It is icicles.

I do not really understand how the temperature can remain below freezing all day, but somehow the sun can cause snow on rooves to melt, and then, somehow, to freeze while dripping. This is clearly a phenomenon that defies natural law, so we must call it a miracle. And like the best miracles, it is very very beautiful. So rather than dwell on the fact that lost school days and snow are accumulating in equal measure, such that our children will be stuck in class and our streets swaddled in grey slush until the middle of July, I will be glad for all the spectacular ice formations that I see everywhere:


Icicles, West Hartford


Icicles at Billings Forges, Lawrence Street, Hartford



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