It is pleasant to think, just under the snow,
That stretches so bleak and blank and cold,
Are beauty and warmth that we cannot know,
Green fields and leaves and blossoms of gold.
-Fay Hampstead, American poet (1847-1934)
Here is the snow all bleak and blank and cold.
Green Fields from last summer
Blossoms of Gold (False Sunflower)
We’ve experienced 35 days of winter so far and have 54 more days until the official start of spring. Winter seemed to start later this year, with our first real snowfall on Sunday.
Today, by the way, marks the 29th anniversary of the “Blizzard of ’78“, as we old-timers call it, a blizzard that set records which, thankfully, have not been broken. And where was I? I was at Purdue University. A freshman. (I’ll let you decide if you want to do a calculation of my age with that little tid bit of information.) We had a lot of snow. A lot of snow. For the 1st time in the history of the university, classes were canceled… for two and a half days.
One of the big bonuses of the blizzard was a chance to go to a basketball game for free. Purdue vs. Minnesota. The Minnesota team was already in town, stuck, so they decided to go ahead with the game, and somehow got the word out that they would let students in for free if they just came to the game. So several of us bundled up and trudged through the waist high snow to the arena. (Okay, it wasn’t waist high snow, but we did trudge a bit). I don’t remember who won the game, but I know I loved going to that game and I quickly regretted that I had not purchased a season ticket.
But I purchased season tickets the next three years. You know who I saw play during those years? Magic Johnson, with his Michigan State team. We beat them in the LOUDEST basketball game I’ve ever attended. Larry Bird from Indiana State came for a game, too. I can’t remember who won that game. Of course we did not know at the time that we should pay close attention because they would be Hall of Fame basketball players. We did know they were good and there was a buzz about them.
I’m thankful I’ve never seen snow like that since then. I’m also thankful that we did get some snow this year, finally. It just seems right, like it is really winter. And when it is really winter, we are much more appreciative of spring.