Last night we received breathless reports of another winter storm “bearing down” on the hapless residents of the Midwest. I groaned when I heard them. The winter storms always seem to be presented as evilly “bearing down,” as if they are a malevolent living thing bent on doing us harm and moving intentionally in furtherance of that goal, rather than the random product of atmospheric conditions, ocean currents, the tilt of the Earth’s axis, solar flares, butterfly wings, and other unthinking variables that produce what we know as weather.
Sure enough, this morning, when I woke up and looked out the front door, an inch or so of snow had already fallen and large, heavy snowflakes were pelting down like raindrops and accumulating rapidly. Sirens sounded in the distance because — of course — the latest winter storm just had to hit Columbus on the front edge of rush hour, when it could cause maximum disruption and havoc and misery for the unfortunate souls commuting to work.
Maybe there really is something to this “bearing down” stuff. Maybe a Midwestern winter really is a living thing that just wants to hang on, like the unwelcome guest that wouldn’t leave, and make us cold and wet and drippy and put us in an ugly funk for as long as it can.
When another winter storm hits on February 20, you can’t help but think grim, gray thoughts. You wonder when it will finally end, and we’ll finally — or ever — get to see the blossoms and green shoots of spring.