Seven Feet Under

Boston and surrounding areas are literally buried in snow. The entire public transportation system – commuter rails, subway, trolleys, ferries – have all shut down. The only thing moving is snow plows and a couple of buses that are groaning and creaking their way along snow filled roads. We have had seven feet of snow in two weeks.

Outside our apartment is a mountain of snow. We think there is a car in there somewhere but there is no way to tell.

With far less snow I have been known to shake my fist and unreasonably yell at God and man, but this is so unbelievable that all I can do is shake my head in that disbelief. And laugh.

My husband and I plan our clandestine escape. We will leave jobs, home, everything and just go. We will go to warmer places and we won’t come back until June – when sunshine is predicted and all of life feels bearable. Of course, for this to work, the airport has to be open so even our escape is thwarted.

I’m doing all I can to escape the weight of snow – all the weight, not just the physical stuff but all it brings with it. Anyone who waxes poetic about snow has never dealt with seven feet of it in the city. (That would be Robert Frost who stops in the woods on snowy evenings….) A picture taken in the Southeast part of the state shows a parking space shoveled and heavily guarded by statues of Mary and Joseph. My friend sends it to me with the caption “I wonder who would dare take this parking spot!” Anything to add joy or humor to this seven-foot weight is welcome.

Who would dare take this spot

Here’s the thing: I’d love to indulge in a heaping helping of self-pity topped with whipped cream, but there are hundreds of thousands of people in the same place, and many of them are worse off. You can see it on the faces of people who get paid by the hour: when the subway or bus is late or doesn’t arrive at all, their pay check will suffer. You can see it on the faces of young, single moms just trying to get kids to day care and themselves to work. You can see it on the faces of the elderly, worn down with the weight of age and snow. And you can see it on my face.

It struck me yesterday while walking home from work that any thoughts of self-pity need to be replaced with solidarity. We are all in this together. We are all cold. We are all buried under snow. We are all tired. We are all late. We all hate Robert Frost.

I need to bury the self-pity seven feet under — like the car outside my doorstep. But can I indulge a moment longer? Just until the next snow storm due on Saturday?

Picture Credit:

8 thoughts on “Seven Feet Under

  1. I have a friend who lives in Boston. He’s overwhelmed. His pictures are scary. i don’t know but sometimes I think God permits nature to overwhelm us so we will have no other choice than to trust him. I lived through Hurricane Katrina while living in New Orleans. I shudder even today when I recall stories of people whose homes were seven feet under – in water. I didn’t have that experience, one of the lucky ones. The forces of nature can be crushingly awesome in its power. I hope and pray that Bostonians have better days soon.


  2. Well, as my mom says, Boston’s just trying to impress the new-comers. Sorry if all this snow is my fault. ;) What an initiation. Let’s go do some public health nursing in Mexico for a few months.


  3. Dear Little Marilyn, I have been thinking of you the last few days especially as I have seen the TV pictures. Believe me, I understand how you are feeling, but I know you will survive. One of these days, the snow will melt, the tiny little daffodil heads will begin to break through the damp ground, the sun will shine, and life will return to normal. It’s happened to me for the last 40 years — somehow (but not always very triumphantly) we get through it. And when it’s over, you have license to boast and thump your chest and declare loudly “We had 7 feet — THAT’S THE WINTER THAT WAS, AND WE SURVIVED! Auntie Grace


  4. You have permission to indulge, seven feet! I feel guilty getting excited with all the snow we had ( not half of what you guys got-my sympathies!) And I totally understand how Robert Frost could be hated right now, hope it all melts soon.


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