Just outside my window is an icicle we call “Fang.” He’s a five-foot giant, a good six inches across at the top, though only a couple of inches thick. Fang grew rapidly yesterday, but is having a hard time holding his own today, as the air’s a bit cooler, the sun a bit more occluded by clouds. The snow is melting quite slowly, though with mid-February inevitability the sun climbs higher in the sky each day and south-facing surfaces melt even in upper-twenties air.
Still, the street got plowed this morning at 4:45, and for the first time in a week I was free to drive around. It’s not so much that I needed to, but the plowing symbolizes freedom from winter’s jaws. So I went to the store, picked up a few non-essentials such as little candy hearts with mottoes on them, now being billed as “The Candy of Love.” Drove back over streets worse than our newly reopened one, and enjoyed the fruits of my hard shoveling of yesterday by turning effortlessly into the driveway and garage.
Even more reassuring about the coming of spring is Truck Day, celebrated each year on “Planet New England” (as one of the morning comic strips put it) as the day when the Red Sox equipment van pulls out of Fenway Park and heads for Florida and spring training. Pitchers and catchers report on the 17th. Uplifting us from the doldrums of the mid-February winter sports scene, this day assures us that green infields will reappear, the thwack of ash or (ugh!) maple on horsehide will be heard, and the American Pastime will resume. Today is Truck Day! Go Sawx!
Now I can revisit my current primal worry within a more positive context. As I drove today I scouted the streets. There were lofty mounds of plowed snow everywhere. There was black ice. There was loose half-frozen slush. There was packed snow with and without ruts. There were snowbanks narrowing the width of the roads. Even if I walked my bike a half mile I could not get to streets I could ride on. But if Paps, Youk, V-Mart and the rest are going to be tuning up in the Sunshine State next week, I know I’ll be rolling soon.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2010