snow day

I should be driving into Boston for a couple of meetings, but I’m canceling them. We’ve had a sodden February, with little respite--sunshine for a day--and once again the air is frigid with sleet and snow. In truth, I could get on the road, it isn’t that bad. But it is that beautiful.

I got an umbrella and went outside to poke around a bit under some old, decaying leaves. I found a few signs of life but tucked them back in again for fear they would freeze. I’m happy to sit, wrapped in a warm blanket, and watch the storm. I remember how exciting it was, when I was a young girl, to watch the snow pile up around the house, and listen to the radio for the name of my school in the roll call of closings.

We don’t get snow days when we’re grown up. We have to feel guilty if we don’t get to the office, and if we work at home, well, there’s nothing to stop us. So we have to decide to give ourselves snow days. I’m going to shut down the computer, light a fire, warm some milk, and take a great book down off the shelves--Tess of the D’Urbevilles, by Thomas Hardy. I will pretend I’m doing my reading for my English Literature class, and let the snow day carry me to the 19th century, and to the year I was 19, and believed that the answers to every single one of life’s big questions could be found in a book!

1 comment:

david terry said...

How amusing to read that last line of yours. Just last week, I came across a bound copy of my dissertation (written when I was 32) on women in Hardy's novels. At that age, I thought I HAD learned everything. I took the thing out on the porch and decided I would read it for the first time in about 15 years. To be honest?...I couldn't even exactly recall the title (bad sign, I know). So, I plopped my middle-aged tail down on a bench and plowed through 250 pages of post-modern/feminist-theory/gender-studies jargon (the third language I learned). I finished it and immediately recalled my father's once telling me (which vastly irritated me in 1993, but which now seems quite true) "If you can't tell folks what you're writing on in less then three minutes, then you probably don't know, yourself". Then, I went to a bookshelf, pulled down "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" to read, and made myself a promise to re-discover what I loved about Hardy's novels long before I ever started writing pompous papers on them. It's a very good exercise for a middle-aged man.
David Terry