As the entire eastern seaboard encounters the worst winter storm since Nemo (which occurred only two years ago), schools, flights, and even grandma’s bridge club have all been cancelled.
Leaders from several states issued travel bans yesterday, ordering all vehicles to stay off the roads. It appears that even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has broken out his famous fleece that saved his state from the harshest effects of Hurricane Sandy and, for a while, gave him a presidential air.
Even Wesleyan University, notorious for making students attend class even when there are power outages, has shut down entirely today. Classes are set to resume tomorrow morning, but a snow day still brings about a childlike excitement among us college students.
I spent the better part of the morning shoveling the walkway to the front door of my house. Amidst the howling wind and two feet of drifting snow, I felt oddly at peace. From my purview, it seemed the entire world had simply shut down. I could hear no roar of engines in the distance or boisterous banter of college-age students walking about. The world was silent, if only for that instant.
No matter the amount of skyscrapers and touchscreen gadgets we create, there will still remain times in which we can’t avoid yielding to the awesome power of nature. These are moments when all the materials we’ve collected and coveted lose their importance. If not for the advent of central heating, insulation, and snow plows, such a storm would’ve proved life-threatening.
Today, in what might be an increasing trend in the years to come, offered a view into how fragile and transient our lives here are. With just the right mixture of warm and cold air fronts, all that we know and love could be lost. What truly matters most in these situations? It is a question I will often ask myself today.
A quote by John Lennon came to mind this morning while I was shoveling:
Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.
To gauge the extent of the snow we’re experiencing, here is a picture of my leg sunk into a bank. Yes, it’s up to my knee.