It is in the bleak mid-winter that I most feel a discord between the rhythm of the seasons and our bondage to the clock. Why can’t we hibernate in winter like the bears and the bees? We don’t need the entire winter, just January. Isn’t that why we load up on food at Christmas, so that we don’t need to eat at all in January? We could sleep away January and wake up for the Super Bowl in February. By then there would be some actual daylight before going to work and while driving home. By then–traditionally our snowiest month– at least the longer days would offer hope of spring and warmer weather.
But no… after a sleep deprived New Year’s weekend, we all trudge back into our routines. When I want to be slurping my third cup of coffee by the roaring fire heating my cozy log home, I find myself facing a sleepy classroom of teenagers in a room that is alternately too hot or too cold because the temperature is regulated by some tech company ten hours away in New Hampshire. To make matters worse, the week back from Christmas is Homecoming/Spirit week with different theme days. Day 1 after Christmas is Pajama Day. Oh, how unmotivated can we be? The only stick I have to beat them with is the threat of mid-term exams. But I don’t even want to beat them, because I don’t care either.
Snow days. That’s what I want. Snow days. (Well, not just yet, because I really–alas–do care about covering material before exams.) Snow days are a gift from God–if they come during the night. Otherwise snow is a commuter’s hell. The slightest coating can turn Maryland roads into a skating rink. When the snow falls during the school day, my co-workers debate which route to attempt home–the icy slide of death on the windy, hilly back country roads or the heart attack behind the wheel of bumper-to-bumper highway traffic?
I know I sound like a classic Maryland winter weather driving wimp. There’s something about sliding off a road down an embankment and nearly totaling your car that tends to activate the panic button. Once upon an era, people trudged through feet upon feet of snow to get to the little schoolhouse. That I can handle. It’s the jack-knifed tractor trailer on the Beltway that I’m not too crazy about. Just let me stay home. I’ll emerge when the bees tell me it’s safe to come out.