« Previous  
 Next »

Averyt: Virtual Winter

03/02/12 7:55AM By Anne Averyt
 MP3   Download MP3 

(Host) Winter has made a late season comeback in much of Vermont; but author, poet and commentator Anne Averyt thinks that the winter of 2012 will still be remembered for being more brown than white.

(Averyt) The snow lion of March came roaring back to Vermont this past week, in a valiant effort to salvage our state’s reputation as a white winter wonderland. But for my money, it’s a case of too little, too late.

Vermont misplaced winter this year, buried it deep under the snowdrifts of late fall, and forgot to dig it out. Despite the recent tease of white crystals, green has been sprouting in my backyard, and winter mornings are filled with birdsong. I’ve already seen V-flocks of Canada geese heading noisily north, and a few disoriented fruit trees in my neighborhood have started to bud.

In spite of the recent snowfall, the winter of 2012 is likely to be one of the warmest and least snowy on record, a winter of endless balmy days, the year winter wasn’t.

This of course has challenged us normally outdoorsy Vermonters to find snowless entertainment. We haven’t been able to open the back door and glide away on cross-country skis. Snow blowers have pretty much been lonely hearts locked away in the garage; and, at least on Lake Champlain, much of the ice has been too thin for fishing shanties.

So many Vermonters have turned to the alternate reality of life on line. My friend Jane has been passing her evenings testing her wits playing Words With Friends, a cyberspace Scrabble game; while Tom, my politico friend, spends his time indoors with online debate. Others have satisfied their snow cravings in the cyber reality of Wii games, where you can virtually ski ravines and jump moguls in what seems to be real time.

But my friend Sally has perhaps slipped furthest through the wormhole into a parallel internet universe. She’s fallen under the spell of Ebay, seduced by the Lorelei of cyberspace bidding. It’s become her mecca of choice; it offers more than enough diversion to fill long weeks of short days. She’s been looking for the soft lavender birthstone of her dreams, and she’s e-flipped her way through 727 online pages of amethyst rings, which is more variety than Ben & Jerry’s has ice cream flavors.

But despite the allure of the internet, I’ve pretty much decided that old friends are best for evening companionship. I don’t own an e-reader like a Nook or a Kindle. I like holding a real book in my hands, reading poetry out loud or listening to a Mahler symphony in stereo on the radio. I guess I prefer the proverbial slow lane, meandering like a brook or mulling life over a cup of warm cider.

And that, after all, is kind of like gliding on cross country skis through the quiet of a moonlit snowy field – alone with the evening, following your own star whether there’s snow in the yard – or not.
comments powered by Disqus
Supported By
Become an Underwriter | Find an Underwiter