Pretty much every February I write about how much I dislike the month of February. Some people don't like January - the whole "let down" from the buzz of the holiday season and all - but I'm all for January. January reminds me of an early-evening sunshine after a day of thundershowers; it's the calm after the storm. But February... February perennially feels so far from the preceding fall, and yet it always seems like there's such a long way to go until the spring flowers bloom again. It's like the halfway point of an out-and-back race; the turnaround. And when Valentine's Day comes, it's the point of no return. The point where, even if one could, it would take longer to turn around and go back to autumn instead of just trudging on ahead toward spring.
One might be inclined to think I hate winter, but that's not the case. Last year, around this time, I was lamenting the fact that the season had been remarkably mild and devoid of snow. And while I liked the weather because it was so favorable for being outdoors consistently, it felt like something was simply missing all through January. Soon, February came (like it always does) and even without the snow or the cold, February felt like February always feels... Like a ship floating away from shore untethered. Alone, and just drifting.
There has been no shortage of snow this year, and no reason to wonder whether winter has forgotten us. In the past two weeks alone there have been several snow storms delivering the kind of accumulations known to close schools. The kids have understandably been jubilant, and if I'm being honest, I'd have to say I've been enjoying the occasional snow day too. Not just because of the fun we've had together playing in the powder, but because these distractions have made February go by in a blink. It seems like just suddenly the mornings have gotten a little brighter and the sun has been setting a little later in the afternoon; the birds are chirping all day long; and the air just isn't quite as cold as it was a few weeks ago. Along the twisting roads, the snow is receding - pulling itself back from the edges of the asphalt like an army retreating - and spring feels miraculously in reach. Indeed, I feel another February is almost behind us. Of this winter past, this could be the end.