Friday, January 28, 2011

Old Man & Winter

We've had so much snow this winter, it has begun to remind me of my time as a boy growing up around Boston. But even in that colder past, I only recall two or three winters that packed this many punches. I've felt like I sometimes have when I'm overmatched by an opponent and the best I can hope is to hold it together long enough to live to tell about it.

This last week left the latest layer of snow, a good fifteen more inches. We're running out of places to put it all. At least half of our parking spaces on the street are now occupied by 7 foot tall piles of snow.

"Reminds me of Boston," I said to a neighbor and fellow expatriate of our fair city. We were shoveling our adjacent cars out of deep snow drifts and trying to find a place to put the snow.

"Yeah," he said, smiling and added in true Boston fashion, "It's wicked snowy this winter."

Then, forgetting that he was a bit younger than me, I added, "Reminds me of the storm of '78."

His face just went into blank wonderment, and it was a good ten seconds of silence before I realized he might not have been born for that one.

"Or the winter of '92," I said trying to recover.

"Yeah," he said, "I remember school being closed a lot that year."

"School!" I thought to myself, "Oh boy. I was in school in '92, but I was teaching."

We chatted a few more minutes and finished our shoveling. It was amicable, but I felt a little embarrassed.

Everyone has one of those moments when you know you've crossed another of the many thresholds of age. And even though I know I'm still young by many standards, this was one of those moments that made my progress through time feel rougher than normal.

I've looked at that snow out there a little differently this week; I've been thinking how my father was younger in 1978 than I am now in 2011 and the future that I had always imagined so far away as a boy is now upon me like the layers and layers of snow that sit just outside my door.

Winter makes you feel old I've heard people say. I think personally it's time for a little early spring - I'm ready for some younger thoughts.

Good night.


tekeal said...

well now i know i can blame it on the winter!

..."the future that I had always imagined so far away as a boy is now upon me like the layers and layers of snow that sits outside my door."

love these words.

btw, the link to your guest post on BLOOM took me to the most recent post, not yours. thought you might want to know.

take care,

David Sexton said...

Thanks Tekeal. Just after I wrote this post we had an ice storm - so my wish for Spring has been delayed a bit.

Thanks for the note about the misleading link - I'll see if I can fix it.

I read your post on Bloom and was very touched by how bravely and honestly and well you described the complex emotional growth that goes with having a special, wonderful child. I found myself wondering how much my boy has changed me and helped me to open up. Which is all to say, I really liked what you wrote. Thank you.