Florida seemed a long way off, in both time and distance, as I ran north through the storm on Tuesday, trying to keep my balance on the icy path. I had been planning to run on the treadmill, but the gym was closed. A day earlier, I went to the park, which was still covered in snow from an earlier storm. Had it really been seventy degrees in February? After these first three weeks of March, I was worried about April, which like our leading political party is notorious for its cruelty. Could things get worse? History provided an easy answer: yes, they could. But at least the heather didn't seem to mind, and neither did the spring crocus. "Enjoy the present," said the wind, who had never seemed more earnest (or annoying). After the storm on Tuesday, everyone kept saying that the forecast was sooooo wrong because they had been expecting a lot more snow. As I walked up and down and around the mountains of snow on Wednesday, I couldn't imagine it. According to FOX NEWS, which I happened to see for five seconds at the gym, the city had hired temp workers to shovel for $15/hour. In response, FOX NEWS said, the Republicans had promptly proposed legislation dictating that children of the poor would henceforth be sent to compounds where they would be sustained on rice and unclean water until they would be "enlisted" to shovel, saving the government scarce funds that could be diverted to new warplanes, which were necessary to fight the "enemy," as though it was someone other than ourselves. It's strange to run through a literal snowstorm when the country has been brought to its knees by a political blizzard that shows no sign of relenting. In the onslaught, there doesn't seem to be a metaphorical/political equivalent to the Little Red Lighthouse. Even the smallest gestures of resistance -- raising your face into the sleet for a second or two to get your bearings -- feel painful and futile. I couldn't even bear the thought of Twitter. I wondered if "it" would ever end. Fortunately, there is some evidence that it would; and when it does, the landscape will, for a little while, be barren and sad, but at the same time beautiful and serene. We will remember what it was like to breathe. We will "live in the present" without being instructed to do so. We will stretch our hamstrings and run for miles at "race pace" without a twinge of pain.
We will stand on the melting ice and look at the sky -- knowing what has lived there -- with hope and fear.