“Lars and the Real Girl” : on Perspective and Precipitation

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“I was hoping winter was over” Lars says.

“No,” Margo replied, “it’s just a thaw. Winter isn’t over until Easter”

This morning as I drove through the slush left over from the snow accumulations of the Midwest snow storm everyone called “Hercules,” I was struck by the balmy feel of the day; 34 degrees and a light sprinkle of rain was falling. It was a quick turnaround for us, the snow only living on the ground about a week or so. It was a thaw. We’ll get another cold snap, another snow, before too long.

Not long ago, I watched the film, “Lars and the real girl” twice in a week. I’m usually late to the table when it comes to movies. We don’t get out as much as we used to and when we do get out my husband and I find ourselves drifting through the crowded list of “things to do” and “things to see.” We often have to throw a (metaphorical) dart at the board to decide what gets our attention at those moments because there is so much out there. It must have been the dart throwing that led us to miss this film back in 2007 but then a few months ago, Netflix began to  suggest it to me. I ignored it but Netflix was persistent and then one night when Dave was out I gave in and watched it finally. I drank in the quirky of it, the lovely of it, the wonderful package of it all when taken together. When Dave got home a few days later I insisted he watch it. “You’ll love it,” I said. I sat and watched it with him and he did. I might watch it again tomorrow. I love it that much. Really.

And a line from the movie came back to me as I waded through the melting snow, through the pond sized puddles on my patio, through the shrinking blackened icy snow banks that resided still between the curb and the sidewalk. It’s just a thaw.

Sure enough, the weather’s meant to grow colder this week. Snow is forecast again reminding me that winter is still going strong here in the midwest. It’s strange how our perception of things changes depending on how far out we look from the window or the dashboard and the calendar. In the middle of grief or fear or even joy, it’s hard to know that the seasonal cycle of life keeps rotating for as long as we breathe. It’s hard to remember when the snow falls that it will also, eventually melt, giving way to soft earth, warming sun, trees budding and blooming.

It’s just a thaw but it’s a thaw when we needed it most. Maybe that’s what the momentary winter thaw is for, after all.

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