Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Blows of Boreas

Last week I enjoyed my first blizzard (honestly, I enjoyed it). Though it tore up other areas of the region more than mine (I’ve seen some rather shocking pictures), there was certainly plenty of excitement in my corner of the Midwest as well, and the university canceled classes for the first time in ten years.

Even before the university had announced the cancellation (which they didn’t until fifteen minutes before I normally walk out the door in the morning), the atmosphere around town reminded me of snow days in the South. There was an almost festive sense of expectation, a feeling of camaraderie among perfect strangers since we were all in it together for better or worse, and a startling sense of helplessness. The latter I found most interesting.

There was a blizzard coming, and it was anyone’s guess how bad it would be. My concerned mother emailed me from down South asking if I had back-up plans to keep warm if the power went out, and when the snow began falling in all directions at once (including up), there was a buzz of excitement in the library. The blizzard had arrived, and for the next twelve hours we could only wait to see what became of it.

We were all reminded, if only for a day, that we are still connected to the planet Earth, no matter how highly developed our insulation and snow-plows and salt and snow-blowers are. We cannot control the weather, nor can we always brush it away like a bug. That day, even in the Snow Belt where we feel proud of ourselves for our hardiness to endure the blows of Boreas, we could not continue life as we knew it. The weather had halted us.

Life as we know it has returned (though I was grateful for the snow-day since it took me almost three hours to clear the heavy blizzard snow from my driveway and sidewalk), but the reminder lingers as the city plods on through one of the worst winters on record. We do not sit above the planet looking down upon it as God does; we are subject to forces we cannot control. We would do well to remember it more often.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fun post. Great photo too. I think you should replace the one on the webpage with this photo, maybe change it when there's some nice spring blossoms on your dogwood.
good reminder at the end, to us all.