Yesterday, as I drove up the mountain to the SMS T2 fortress, I noticed a specific change in weather. Gaining altitude, I squinted through the sheets of falling rain, catching a glimpses between windshield wipers of slumping trees burdened by the weight of their icy limbs. To the side of the road, tire tracks through the heavy slush lead into dead end ditches and tree wells, evidence of slipped cars past. I geared down, preparing for two wheels of traction up the climb, and as I did so I glimpsed at the temperature reading. 29 degrees. And raining.
I had wintery mixed feelings.
On the one hand, it was cold. Things were freezing. There’s hope in that, it means we’re close to winter, done with roller skiing, on the cusp of the season we desire most. On the other hand, the more negative hand, the hand I’m choosing to focus on for the rest of this blog, it was raining. It was cold, and raining. Freezing, raining. Based on my elementary school education of the water cycle, that’s straight against science.
But, November in the East is like the Bermuda Triangle in that way, it’s unpredictable and, often times, defies nature. When you get in your car, you don’t know if you’ll be coming back, you could be struck with snow, sleet or, like me, freezing rain. And you’re definitely not going to have cell reception. It’s that feeling of the in-between, being stuck in the middle, that most defines the month.
Neither here nor there, we’re neither on snow nor on dry land. We’re freezing cold, yet choose to underdress. When we do dress appropriately, we sweat through our layers. All the while we’re packing and organizing ourselves for five months on the road, actively crumbling our sense of place and stability.
While it’s fun to get meta with November and contemplate the meaning of transience, I’m over it. Imma about to get up and out of the paradox and on to whiter pastures (mic drop).
In the end, I did make it up the mountain safely. After I slid down the incline of my driveway, slipped through the slushy downpour and emerged on the inside of the front door, I went straight to my closet, grabbed my duffle and began the packing job I’ve been putting off for days.
Yep. I’m ready to get the show on the (icy) road. Are you?