Snow and I have a turbulent relationship. A world with snow is familiar, but fundamentally changed. If you say that you are going to attach yourself to a wood board and slide down a mountain, it appears suicidal, but with snow, it becomes something fun to do. Attaching razor sharp blades of metal to your shoes is a terrible idea, but if you add a sheet of ice, it becomes a romanticized form of dance. There is a calming quality to just sit and watch snow fall. It is as if you are seeing time itself slow down.
However, this new world has drawbacks. All the physics of daily life are shifted. You can no longer walk the same way, dress the same way, or drive the same way. Last week the Boston area got off work and as I drove home, I saw Jeeps crawl, Volvos pirouette, and back tires shoot off fountains of snow. It is on days like that where I look at the calendar and count how many more weeks until June.
For the mikveh, snow is gold. During the rest of the year there is a persistent worry about the weather. Every day the living water is measured to make sure the height is in accord with the pool inside. As living water is exposed to the world outside, most days are spent seeing how much water has been lost.
Just as snow changes the rest of the world, for the mikveh, snow removes these worries. As the building heats the snow on the roof, streams of water fall off icicles into our pools. While winter is a time of rest for most animals and plants, winter is the mikveh’s spring as we gather water to last for the rest of the year. Now if winter was as kind to other creatures…
Walton Clark is Mayyim Hayyim’s office assistant and jack of all trades. He is a 2011 graduate cum laude of Tulane University as well as an alum of City Year Boston. He is a working musician in Boston, playing keyboard and writing songs in a variety of groups. You can follow him @walt_twitwalker.