Great news, dear friends! The GOTHs survived the blizzard! We made it through freezing temperatures, bone chilling winds, and bouts of cabin fever, and somehow we still like each other. Board games, movies, and workout videos by our side, we braved winter’s best and lived to tell about it. I would say the score is GOTHs 1, Jonas 0.
Since I am a Louisiana native, it probably goes without saying that this was my first experience with a winter storm. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that blizzards are given names. I had no idea what to expect. I received several worried messages from concerned family members urging me to stock up on water and batteries. I learned from my coworkers that, for some mysterious reason, everyone buys milk and bread before a snowstorm, even if it those aren’t groceries one normally needs. I shoveled snow for the first time, and made my first snowman. But I think the most thought provoking part of my “Snowpocalypse 2016” experience was when several of my fellow GOTHs and I ventured out into the storm to relieve our growing cabin fever.
I remember seeing clips of deserted, snow-covered streets on the news as a kid. I remember being stunned by the fact that snow, a phenomenon I seldom experienced but annually sung happy songs about, could paralyze an entire city. As I stepped out onto the street on Saturday afternoon, I could hardly believe what I saw. Cars sat half-buried in the snow. The wind whirled and tossed freshly fallen snow back into the air. Besides the howling wind and the crunching snow beneath our feet, the street was silent.
Walking down the street, I was struck by the fact that we are, try as we might to forget it, completely at the mercy of nature. This is a simple, even cliché, truth that every person knows, but that we are still rarely conscious of. Seeing my neighborhood paralyzed by snow has made me want to pause and reflect regularly on how small I am and little control I actually have. Just about everything- the plans I make, my hopes, dreams, and aspirations- are contingent upon innumerable moving pieces (the scope of which I cannot fathom) lining up just right. It is important for me to remember that only so many of those moving pieces lie within the borders of my control. Otherwise, I could lose my mind worrying over something as far from my hands as the weather. So long live the winter wind! May it remind us all of our dependence upon forces beyond our control.