02.28.15. February is a trickster month. It’s short, but adds an additional day every four years to keep us unsettled. Snow drifts linger but green daffodil and tulip leaves are poking through grass in spots of sunlight. You can see the sap running out to the tips of bare branches, making them a golden red. Even in this arctic cold, the bright sun is moving up in the sky and sends out rays of hope for warmer days. Daylight Savings Time, just around the corner, will move us back into the dark in the early mornings, but gives us hours of light at the end of the day, and we will think we should be outside doing something, anything. Except for the days it snows again.
There was a stunning photograph of a “slurpee wave” off Nantucket, which made the rounds on the internet yesterday. Jonathan Nimerfroh, a photographer and surfer, captured slow-moving waves of slush rolling in from the sea. A true trick of Nature. The EarthSky blog quoted an Alaskan glaciologist, “I have never seen frozen waves like this” and another expert at Scripps Institution of Oceanography said, a full scientific explanation was “outside her expertise.” Of all the photos and videos I’ve looked at which document the epic historic winter in New England, this frozen wave in February has truly moved those folks into mythological territory.
Yet even there, deep beneath the snow, the earth is preparing its new life. Winter will end, as it always does. Life is moving right along on its course, in constant change. When Nimerfroh went back the next day to watch the slushy waves, he said, “Nothing was moving. There were no waves anymore.” The show was over. Time to move on into March.