The Snow Queen has returned to the Western Mountains with a vengeance. With a heavy, wet blanket over a foot thick she descended to smother all of those who had become complacent with a mild winter. In the guise of an icy Amazon, Mother Nature has reasserted the natural order of things: this IS Maine and it IS February. She wails through the trees at 30 miles an hour; toppling some of them and maiming others. The suddeness of her return and the terror of her beauty are awesome in the truest meaning of the word. She is magnificent. The streams freeze in dread at her touch. The Earth shivers into submission and yields to her will. We humans and the birds have had a rude awakening. We've taken too much for granted and now we are being bent to the will of She Who Must Be Obeyed. We were anticipating the early return of Persephone. But she has been consigned once more to the nether regions while the hope for Spring withers on the vine of memory. The Arctic Empress holds sway here and we must bow in obeisance or else be stifled within the frigid folds of her cloak.
I am perhaps one of the few who are glad of her return to the stage although I would have preferred a far less dramatic entrance. I was missing the warmth and crackling of the hearth, sun-dazzled ice crystals across the lawn, and the sound of frozen snow under foot. Soups and stews had lost much of their charm in the balmy temperatures. Many will gleefully take advantage and strap boards to their feet while others drool over the chance to ride those infernal machines across the fields at all hours. I will use this time to replan my flower beds and replot my intended vegetable garden. I am glad that mowing is farther off now than the previous conditions hinted at. Her return allows me to enjoy wearing my winter woolies out of doors and enjoying my peacock's cloak of daydreams indoors a while longer.
It is Maine. It is February. It is as it should be. It is good.