In this part of Maine, we had three and a half feet of snow in the past seven days from three different storms. The middle storm was a wild blizzard that went on for 28 hours, with winds gusting to 60 mph and drifts five and six feet deep in places. During its height, I couldn't see the goat barn, a hundred and fifty feet away - all was washed from view by the storm's fierce commotion. It's a similar experience witnessing Donald Trump's ascendancy to the White House - commotion and storm, howling winds, loss of visibility and perspective, the real landscape getting buried beneath drifts of alternate facts, deliberate lies, swirling and dangerous fears, a virtual whiteout of common sense and common purpose.
Maine has a long history of fierce winters. We like to get out in the middle of storms, to taste their raw power. We also know to stay put until things wind down, to savor the pause given by nature - schools and store closed, wood stoves stoked, there's a surety and kindness in being huddled together and closed in. Of course, as soon as the storm is over, people are out. Every pickup has a plow, every hand a shovel. As the final flurries fall, we have already cleaned up and are about our business. This year, we've actually had a very mild and snow-free winter - until this last week. But even in years when temperatures stayed near zero for months and snow lay four feet deep until spring, we always knew spring would come. Winter simply honed our hunger and gave us common purpose as it raged.
Given the bluster and furious pace of the new administration in Washington, we have a lot of digging out to do now, truths to unbury, neighbors to shovel out, kindness to deliver, communities to restore and energize. We know how to do this. Let us take moments during the storms to stay put, warm ourselves and each other, share calm and quiet even as the raging goes on. And then, let's get out and get to it.
For Mainers, Senator Susan Collins will be on Maine Public's program, Maine Calling, on Wednesday, February 22nd, from 1 to 2 pm. It's a short time and there will be lots of callers, but you can try to get your question or comment to her by the following options:
Call 1-800-399-3566Email firstname.lastname@example.orgTweet @MaineCallingPost on Facebook
There is a rally planned as well, outside the Bangor studios of MainePublic, starting at 12:30 pm at 63 Texas Ave., Bangor, ME 04401. I found info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/605477632972981/.