Please, please let there be more snow. (One Cantabrigian’s plea for meaning)
We need more snow. Please let it snow. This isn’t a plea, it’s an imperative, a must, a necessity, a demand.
Sure, we’re all burned out by cabin fever, parking anxiety and T shutdown woes, but we’ve come too far to have nothing to show for it. We’re at one-hundred plus, just a scant few inches from our all-time snowfall record. To have arrived at such a precipice of double-cutting distinction, we’ve endured arctic cold 30 degrees below the seasonal average, fought the space-saver fight in close quarters, had roofs cave in and lived through ice-dam hell. To not make the record now would be to run the Boston Marathon and drop out at Mass. Ave. and Boylston. It would be akin to the Patriots’ perfect season going up in smoke to David Tyree and the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
There’s no two-finger, helmet-pinning catch to thwart us. All we need is for Mother Nature to finish the job, to cap off the season of our displeasure with a final dusting or two, an angry yet liberating icing atop our high-towered, multilayered cake of misery. The winter of 2015 has truly tried our patience, mettle and sense of neighborly civility. We’ve been so deluged and laden that the snow farms that amassed in the Seaport and Danehy Park in Cambridge grew so tall and Brobdingnagian that the ceaselessly laboring bulldozers and backhoes seeking to shift the bane of our obstructed roadways to Babel-aspiring heights looked like matchbox miniatures left strewn about a playground sandpit. It didn’t help either that the T, the backbone of Greater Boston’s commerce, came to an utter standstill, further stranding and isolating the snowbound and the weary, and to add insult to injury, the T’s helmswoman threw in the towel when it was time to roll up the sleeves and get the city moving again.
Even now in mid-March, as the temperatures begin to flutter above freezing, there’s a risk of forgetting the side streets crowded by snow-entombed cars looking eerily like a post-apocalyptic movie set, and the high impenetrable walls that channeled our broad-bricked walkways into single-tracked gullies of icy navigation hell. But not too much. That knot between your shoulders, that aching pain in your lower back brought on by repetitive snow-shovel stress and the matted white sheen of crusted salt coating your car, not to mention the banged-it-in abrasions across your bumper, serve as unfriendly reminders even as the welcomed green buds of crocuses and lilies push upward through the thawing ground.
What’s that? You booked your family vacation for that early first week on the Cape, right after school lets out and before the Fourth of July fill-up, so you could get the preseason discount? Snow days just threw that plan under the bus, and now you’re scrambling, trying not to lose your shirt while hoping to salvage some semblance of sea, sun and family. Back then, when you booked it, probably just after Labor Day, it seemed like such a far-off, cozy dream, Eden on layaway, and now it’s become an albatross, a scheduling conundrum, a source of rue, likely relegated to a panicked long weekend propelled by Point A-to-Point B stress.
Spring will come. The big melt-off will bear vernal pools and slushy, sloppy splashways, the T will resurrect and so will the debate on global warming and the climate-changed shifting of the jet stream. Also lingering in the soggy aftermath, like the ugly gray archeological horrors pinned deep down under the icy brown bottom strata, are the reputations of those who refused to shovel their sidewalks or continued to mark “their” public parking space with a rusted-out lounge chair or orange hazard cone backed by a cinderblock enforcer long after the 48-hour grace period granted with merciful contemplation by the mayor. The thaw does not forgive, but the warmth of long rays brings contentment and tranquillity to all. Birds, bees and blossoms are just around the corner. You can already see and smell the traces of it as we sail through the Ides of March, but with such forward “goodbye and good riddance” thinking, our harrowing season of woe living on in our joints and marred cars might become forgotten, a flickering memory consigned to become just a footnote, an asterisk, a point of comparison, but never the main attraction. Do we want the one indelible image from the winter of 2015 to be some knuckle-headed naysayer holding a snowball up in Congress? No. Absolutely no! For all that we have contended with, the loss of power, the lack of transportation, the bitter biting cold and no place to toss the ever-coming snow, we need to ring the bell, we need to reach the top. One hundred and 10 sounds like a nice number to notch. So before it all goes, please let it snow.
Update on March 15, 2015: A Sunday storm bringing 2.9 inches of snow put the official year total at Logan International Airport to 108.6 inches, the National Weather Service said. The previous local record for snowfall was 107.6 inches in the winter ending in 1996.
Tom Meek is a writer living in Cambridge. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in The Boston Phoenix, The Rumpus, Thieves Jargon, Film Threat and Open Windows. Tom is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere. You can follow Tom on Twitter @TBMeek3 and read more at TBMeek3.wordpress.com.