Snow, snow, snow! Stormy and I enjoyed a month-long “home visit” back in Colorado, catching up on hugs with friends and family, going to our book club discussions, church activities, dinners, social gatherings, and shoveling a little snow. The cold white stuff had been pretty scarce in Durham before we left, but it seems it followed us back to the East Coast on our return. We tried to shake it, really we did, with stops in Phoenix and Los Angeles before coming back to the freeze. The wily weather system kept us in its sights though, to recapture us after our time out west in the warm and sunny weather with family and old friends.
The 4 to 6-inch cover of sparkling beauty we had here in North Carolina a few days ago broke all kinds of local records, stopped traffic, closed schools and businesses, and knocked out electric service to thousands of people, including us for a day. The apartment got cold enough for us to start worrying about pipes freezing if the electricity stayed off for days (buildings here are lightly insulated, not like in Colorado), but thankfully the power came back on.
A thought crossed my mind about people living in refugee camps. It’s a ludicrous connection, to even dream of a comparison, I know. We live in a sturdy building, secured from rain and wind, with only the inconvenience of losing electricity for a little while. We have food, winter clothes, blankets, and each other.
Not everyone does, you know. Our friend Connie in Denver works with people who can’t afford (either for money or for their own mental health barriers) to come in out of the cold. And here’s an article about some people in other countries, plagued by war, pushed out from their homes into tents in the cold. They aren’t just camping for the enjoyment of nature: Syrian refugees bear Mideast snow.
I’ve written in this series about the cold and how it affects people in different climates; about the armed political instability around the Black Sea and conflict in Ukraine; and about Syrian refugees, desperate to escape devastation, overwhelming social services in Bulgaria. Ukraine teeters on the edge of a shaky cease-fire, with people being killed a little less often than a few weeks ago but still being killed. Meanwhile I live a comfortable life in a second home by choice, voluntarily relocated for a while to be near some of my family members, a matter of love.
Spring will come. I can feel it coming now, with snowmelt pouring off the roof after today’s sunny warming. There are shimmering little rivulets snaking toward the pond out back. Tree buds are nascent, though still sheathed. My dear Bulgarian friends and family will celebrate Baba Marta Day to help spring return to the land. Честита Баба Марта! Friendship, new life, renewal, the end of winter’s oppression and danger. Hope.
Spring should bring hope, shouldn’t it? Spring should always bring hope.
Speaking of snow, here is a review of another book about Bulgaria that I loved reading. It is a touching and dark vision, interweaving tales of surviving the vexations of nature, family, and oppression of the spirit.