A pair of white snow boots silently sits and stares at me from across the room. They’re lined with some kind of fur or fleece to try and keep the wearer’s feet and toes all warm and toasty. If they could talk, they’d probably ask me why they haven’t been outside yet this year. They’d ask why they are being kept cooped up in the house and left to stand a lonely vigil and gather dust in the corner. They’d ask where the sound of laughter was and what happened to the skidding of sleds and the building of snowmen and the throwing of snowball’s? But they can’t and that leaves them to brood in silence from across the room.
If they could see, they’d see it for themselves. We’ve had little or no snow in my neck of the woods this year. Whatever dire predictions made by those whose job it is to forecast the weather have fallen woefully short. Their grave voices warn us about an impending five or six inches of snow but the next day we are greeted with only a dusting.
Those boots, if they could hear and if they could feel, must at first be feeling some sort of anticipation. At last, they are ready to do their job! The anticipation is soon replaced by disappointment and another day goes by and they stand there, unmoved except to make way for the vacuum cleaner.
It won’t be long before the change of seasons is upon us and their perch in the corner, the one near the door where they stand their watch and are ready to do their job should the time come, will be gone . After the time passes, they’ll be vanquished to the darkness of a closet where they will sit and hope against all odds that a late season storm will bring them from their hiding place into the light of day.
For those of us with kids, we’re probably all familiar with what constitutes a growth spurt. It’s when those clothes you bought just a few weeks ago that fit so nicely now look like you’re trying to cram ten pounds of flesh into a container designed to hold only five. Trousers that once had to be held up by belts and cuffed to avoid tripping over them are now too snug around the waist and rise up to the ankles. Shirts that looked like you could get lost in them now require a wrestling match to squeeze over your head. Socks and sneakers that once looked like clowns feet and were easily slipped into are now donned with pulling and tugging and squeezing. Coats that once covered little hands now barely reach the wrists and might actually rise up to the forearms when a certain amount of stretching and bending is called for.
And snow boots, reawakened during a fit of spring cleaning, are donated to the local charity, never worn by their original owner but still looking forward to the day when they will get their time to shine in the snow.
To those of you on the northern east coast, I know the timing of this must be strange. Most of you are probably still digging out from “The Blizzard of ‘06" and have had your lives disrupted in one way or another over the past couple of days.
In a strange way, we envy you.