Peeking out the back door, I notice that the temperature gauge on the deck reads zero again.
Rock-hard snow still covers the yard, and the driveway and brick path to our front door are caked in layers of ice treacherous to drive or walk on.
Blinding snow squalls appear out of nowhere, and flurries are as commonplace as rain, while yet another winter storm watch has been posted with six inches to a foot of the white stuff in the forecast.
By all appearances we are in the throes of one of the coldest, snowiest seasons in memory. But no matter what Mother Nature throws at us now, we duck and know her fury is short-lived. March may come in as a lion, but in three weeks it will be springtime – and that changes everything.
“We often have a real blizzard in March; but even so, we have seen the earth again and felt the wind of spring,” said New England author Gladys Taber, who wrote from her seventeenth-century farmhouse in rural Connecticut. “It is just another removal sale on Nature’s part.”
A few hours later I am sitting in the Ram watching a hardy soul walk the beach. I should venture out, but instead I remain in the warmth of the truck cabin and dream about spring.
Not long from now the sand will soften, balmy breezes will blow, this deserted shoreline will fill with beach-goers and the Sakonnet will buoy a fleet of pleasure boats.
At the summer house, we drive into the back yard; and I try to imagine that this Arctic tundra is a thick, springy bed of green grass.
Surveying the snow-covered roof of the house, we unlock the front door and step into the cold, musty confines of the dwelling. After checking each of the rooms, we thank God that they are intact, just the way we left them last fall.
A few years ago, we arrived to find a pile of rumble in the living room, where the ceiling had caved in.
I smile. In my mind I have already moved back. I am home.
So let the storms rage on...