Tuesday, February 9, 2010

White Out Conditions

I was in a blizzard once. Just once. In Colorado. At a forensics tournament. They moved the tournament to the hotel and we never had to go out into it. But looking out the window was like looking at a white bed sheet. There was no depth to it.

One of the other coaches was regaling us with tales of scary, scary blizzard stories and told us about falling down while walking in a white out. He said that he just lost all will to move. He had to make himself get up and crawl. I could understand that. It's not so much a matter of being lost or wandering or confused. It's a matter of the enormity of it sucking your own ability to fight away.

I have always loved cold weather and I have always loved the snow. But I recognize that snow has an insidious side, a cruel side.

Tonight, I drove home a little later than I wanted to. While I was on the road, the snow was falling fat and fast and the road was already covered. We have had a lot of snow this winter. More than any other winter I can remember. It just keeps coming. I've gotten a little used to it, a little invincible feeling.

Tonight, though, I didn't feel invincible. I felt small and vulnerable and at the whim and whimsy of the snow. I watched it swish and sway in the breeze and realized that I was, ever so slightly, following that swish with my car. I watched the road disappear beneath me and become a slightly smoother piece of the white. I saw the snow take back the world.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of our fairy land. Tomorrow in a new light and a new breath, I will see the beauty of the snow again, the glory, the overwhelming peace and calm that only snow can bring.

But tonight, tonight I will see the danger, the lurking evil. I will fear and I will be wary. I will snuggle into my bed and thank God that I have a furnace, a comforter, a roof, lamps, strong windows. Tonight I will be happy to be safe and huddle indoors.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Once on a snowboarding holiday I took a lift to the highest station where it was snowing very heavily with strong winds, beckoned by the lure of fresh snow on the piste. I walked about twenty yards from the gondola, strapped on my board and set off. It was a total whiteout. I couldn't tell how fast I was going or make out any features. After a few seconds I realized that I was no longer moving at all! I decided that boarding into a blizzard was in fact a stupid idea and went back down a station.