On The First Snow Of Spring


You will quite possibly have feelings of despair over word from the weather assessors that, here on this first day of spring, snow will begin to fall around noon and the precipitation will persist for twelve hours, leaving us with a potential four to six inches of accumulation by which to mark the closing of winter. Your despondency is understandable. The last couple of weeks, with their relative warmth and sun, may have convinced you that winter was over, that the darkness and cold had done all the damage they could do and soon enough the birds would be singing, the children laughing and each stroll down the street accompanied by the pungent and persistent seasonal scent of urine. You elected to ignore the warnings of the wise, who only recently reminded you that winter was forever no matter what the weather looked like from your window. You rejected the sayings of the sage who admonished you as to the hopelessness of it all in the face of any climatic condition. No, you chose to become a beacon of hope, to embrace spring and all its empty promises even though we always get a couple of warm days before nature in its infinite cruelty yanks them back and covers the face of the earth with its terrible powder once more. And here you are, staring down another day (and night) full of listlessness-inducing liquid falling from the sky. A man with a harder heart than my own would mock you in your moment of melancholy but, dismiss me though you did, I cannot take any joy in being proved correct, nor can I blame you for wanting to pretend that things might really be better. Dr. Johnson got it wrong: The real triumph of hope over experience is simply deciding to get on with it each day in spite of everything we know about how badly it will end up. So I will tell you something to make you feel a little better in this your time of trial: Someday you will die and all of your anguish will evaporate as if it never existed in the first place. Every hurt your heart feels right now will all fall away. The entire history of suffering our species endures is written on water and soon all the water will be gone anyway. Everything will end. So what’s a little snow right now? Happy spring, everybody!

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