29 February 2012

Leap Year

It is the last day of February, and the final day of leap year, 2012. Tomorrow, the year returns to the regular counting system: March and all subsequent months have their normal number of days. Of course, February had its normal number of days this year as well, but it had one extra normal day, as it does every four years.
When Jews have a leap year to prevent Pesach from occurring in January, a whole month is added!
And on this last day of February and the final day of leap year a heavy snow has fallen. After a whole winter of little or no snow and above average temperatures, a winter storm passed through the area. I would add ‘maliciously’ to the last sentence but that would ascribe a consciousness to Nature that I know it does not possess, though it pleases me to think it does. This precipitation is a wet snow because the temperature remained above freezing, and the snow retained too much water and fell too much like leaden clods than as feathery flakes. Shoveling became a miserable chore best left to younger daughter who is home for day. I refer to the snow as heavy also because it is inches high, and right now the driveway is impassable.
Normally, a snow day does not cause me much concern: having been a teacher for forty three years I always relish this holiday-like break. But today, for the first time all winter, I want to go to the Cities and the driving will be difficult. Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem is being performed at the Ted Mann Orchestra Hall at the University of Minnesota, and my friend sings in the chorus. I look forward to hearing her voice. I look forward to seeing her after all these years. I look forward to hearing her add her voice to the chorus.
I think downstairs in my vinyl collection is a copy of Britten’s piece, purchased in the fervor of my anti-war days. It seems an appropriate moment tin history to present Britten’s piece, but my decision to be in attendance has everything to do with harmony and peace and nothing to do with protest. Though I am stupidly annoyed by the snowfall.
And so I will wait until noon and then maneuver the car down the driveway and out onto the plowed roads and wend my way slowly toward Minneapolis. I will listen still to the Wailin’ Jennys sing “Bold Riley,” a song I have written about earlier. The Jennys’ voices and harmonies are so beautifully and appealingly vulnerable, and especially on this song, that I continue to re-play them in order to experience the vulnerability and beauty. And that too is peace.   


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad you came...

05 March, 2012 20:02  

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