Legends of the Snow
Welp, it was one spectacular winter out here. An astounding winter. An insane winter.
Someday they won’t believe us when we talk about our driveways being carved out of 18ft tall walls of snow. Or how roofs — roofs that were engineered for unfathomable weights — collapsed under their loads. Or how we made snowcaves in the backyard and the ski season was EIGHT months long. But it’s all true.
Utah’s snowpack continued to climb after soaring past the historic record last month, making this the best season EVER in the modern age of snowpack collection records, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. (To illustrate what this means: Alta has had over 900 inches of snow. Nine fricking hundred inches. That’s 75 FEET of snowfall. https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/alta-surpasses-900-inches-of-snowfall-in-unprecedented-season/ar-AA1alcic
Even the hydrologists — typically an unpleasable, pessimistic bunch* — have acknowledged that all this snow should significantly help our dire drought situation here in Utah (Save Lake Powell!) and finally start refilling California’s reservoirs. Perhaps we can all visualize a perfectly gentle, gradual, slow spring melt and help them find some relief from their chronic stress.
This ski season has been a long, amazing, fantastic one for locals and visitors alike, starting way back in October(!) for those willing to hike, and lasting until MAY here in Park City.
It was a very physical winter for most people around here — screaming thighs from bouncing through the powpow, intense appetites after harder-than-expected snowshoeing, tense shoulders from harrowing driving conditions, and aching backs from never-ending shoveling and plowing (thank you God and Mark that I am not the plowmaster). In what some people might say is a convenient turn of events, my lower back randomly went out badly in February — pulling me from many activities and infusing my presence with the heady aromas of menthol rub and lavender epsom salts; if back pain is indeed a physical representation of life elements, this feels like a metaphoric reflection of all the straining roofs and decks around us overloaded with so many tons of snow.
It’s been a rollercoaster morale ride as well. I’ve frequently loved unexpected school “snow days” (practically unheard of here) and the nestled-in, warm and snuggly vibe of being safely at home with a good movie and nowhere we need to go. But I’ve also had bouts of cabin-fever, feeling restless and aimless and snappy, grousingly cobbling together weird dinners out of pantry items as if I’m a contestant on Chopped (since who wants to go to the store when it’s like that outside?!). I’ve been frequently grateful to helpful folks around us — the good neighbors (thanks Trip and Jon!) for rescuing me unexpected detours into snowy ditches, delivery drivers for saving us all from extra outings, all the people running online resources (like libby.com for digital library books!), and the county plow drivers for the exhaustive pre-dawn road clearing that allows the kids to get to school and the rest of us to safely get where we need to. Needing each other can bring a lot more awareness to how kind, generous, and interdependent people are.
Spring is now teasing us…peeking up like a shy hedgehog before being swept back into hiding by yet another brief bout of cold wind or sleet. But these occasional glimpses are enough....the longer brighter days, the clearer skies. The faith in spring’s return, in sunlight and green and forest hikes and bbq-ing outside, oh yes — it’s perking me up for sure. In that way of metaphors that nature so often provides, I feel like I’m emerging from a kind of dormancy, breathing more deeply, stretching and moving around again. And as much as all the nestling felt comfortable and right, for this long winter, the movement and growth is what feels good and right and instinctive now.
I can’t wait to see many of you this summer at outdoor concerts, at street festivals and last-minute get-togethers, to run into you while the kids play at the parks. And I’m really looking forward to this summer’s Songwriting and Recording Camps again — they’ll be better and more fun than ever with new folks sharing their wisdom and new ways to help the music emerge from those who just know it’s there. Hope you're enjoying the big melt wherever you are. :)