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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Southern Snow

I have spring fever. I have it bad. Yes, I'm glad I don't live in Boston, and yes, I'm glad I'm not buried under feet of snow, that this morning's snowfall is just a crunch underfoot, and the horses have already slid through most of it down at the barn; its just deep red skids in the clay, now.

But I don't like winter. I always say I like it aesthetically - winter images do wonders for creativity - but I don't like living in it. Summer is holy down South, and snow just these rare miracles that send children dancing in circles down the street, heads flung back, tongues held out to catch the falling flakes. It melts the moment it hits the asphalt, and then freezes again, invisible ice sheets that can't be plowed or scraped or bit into with snow chains. It shuts the world down, when it snows in the South.

I'm not ashamed of that. The South wasn't built for snow. It's for layered-up humidity, and jeans with real holes in the knees; red clay powder settling against your lips on those dry horse show days; that old dying charm, the shriveling soul that still cares about architecture, and literature, and creeping wisteria and flower-decked melancholy reminiscent of the British elite that once settled this rich elbow of the country.

If I do nothing else as a writer - and most days it feels like that - I want to write the South properly. The South that sometimes feels as if its dying beneath the wheels of bad country music and self-imposed embarrassment.

I'll take this last rally of winter, and use it to my advantage. I'm yearning to get this book finished, because once the flowers start to pop, and the air currents begin to warm, I need to be outside again. I need to get tanlines and get back in the saddle, and allow myself a brief moment to feel human again, and less like a pair of hands glued to a keyboard. Writing is my port, my passion, and an outlet for the guilt I often feel - I don't have much of anything to offer to much of anyone, but I can write, and write I will. But it will be nice, for a little while, to enjoy the melting of snowflakes into springtime, once Angels is finished. Not long now...Just a little more to go...

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