It’s called February. That’s all you have to say: February. Every Mainer will know what you mean. It causes a twinge of fear to run up our spines. It is what I would call “the dead of winter,” in more ways than one. This is winter in Maine!
|This would be February.|
It’s just a reminder--not gentle or subtle, but jarring--of how little all of our “control” really means. In the great scheme of things, we’re quite powerless and at the mercy of our surrounding circumstances. It’s easy to forget that. We lull ourselves with our cellphones and internet and television. We fool ourselves with our cars and high-speed trains. Our “modern conveniences” give us a sense of superiority and boredom with it all.
But then February comes, and we are once again greatly humbled. It can be a crippling humiliation if you’re not prepared for it, but those of us who live in the north come to accept it and even appreciate it. It reminds us to be careful and watchful. It reminds us to be hardworking and helpful to others. It reminds us to be grateful for our neighbors. It reminds us to be strong and steadfast. It reminds us not to take for granted the simple things in life, such as electricity and a warm home.
Though it may be difficult and many of us may complain, in the end I think we are made better for it. I think we improve ourselves with our perseverance, patience, and just plain stubbornness.