I detest you, February. You've always been among my least favourite months, but I've deepened my disdain for you his year.
You may be the shortest month in days but you are the looooooongest, most offensive and meanest in spirit. I consider myself pretty laid back and easy going (at least I did until you came around this year) but you have tapped into something primal within me, something that makes me want to scream from the very core of my soul in the hopes that it will scare you into hiding. But I know you. I know that would only cause you to spit more venomous ice and snow, mixed with freezing rain for good measure. Worse yet, you would delight in it (as you have no doubt been doing).
I get that my resistance to you only makes you more powerful. I've tried to like you - or at least accept you, but I find your redeeming features so difficult to see, let alone name, that I am left feeling close to defeat. And yet, February, I'm not willing to give you that satisfaction. So here's what I've learned from you during this Godforsaken, never-ending, not-quite-over month:
- In spite of you, I can stand upright and balanced most of the time. You've tried to knock me down and sometimes you've come close, but mostly, I've held my footing.
- If I take a deep breath and resist the temptation to spin my wheels (literally) to no effect, I can sometimes free myself and my accompanying car by turning the wheel to get myself out of the rut. And the feeling that I've taken a different action and gotten a different result is pretty darn satisfying.
- You bring people together. No matter where you go in Atlantic Canada these days, people are gathering in solidarity against you. They too feel blue, fed up, beaten down - and they're speaking up. They're bonding over driveways caked in inches of ice. They're commiserating over the lack of road salt and sand, over cancelled plans and snow turned the grey-brown colour of despair. They're wishing, individually and collectively - to escape you for someplace warmer, kinder. And whether they make their escape or not, they know - we know - that we are better and stronger than you. We will survive.
- There is always July. When you seem interminable with your petulant wind and snow and icy rain tantrums, I know you will not last forever. You will soon run out of bluster and make way for the slightly more malleable March and the more optimistic April, and so on. Before we know it, you will be a distant memory we discuss (or not) over drinks on a sunny patio. And I, for one, will revel in it.
So farewell, "dear" February. Your time is drawing to a close. Do what you will in your final days. We can take it. And whatever you do, don't let the icy door hit you on the way out.