As much as the city is being held in the grip of Nature and the adamantine grip of her snow, so do I - after having resisted for several days - feel inexorably pulled into the Snow Trap. I have to write about the snow. I do not WANT to write about the snow! I rebel against its banality in subject matter! I push against its encroaching walls!
Yet here we are....
I peruse the media, online and off, and find story after story after anecdote after amusing reflection on the snow. We are fascinated and terrified by it. We cancel everything as a result of it. We revel in it and we are repelled by it.
There seem to be no half-measures concerning the snow. It affronts us and demands that we strike up an attitude toward it. Moving from place to place, our footfalls are gripped by it. Travelling by automotive contrivance, we have to spend hours clearing the carcass and breathing life back into it. And the snow keeps falling, keeps covering it back up, and we keep sweeping it away.
Nature always wins.
And there are the enviably free spirits who embrace the snow. They run out into it. They jump. They play. They make snow angels and expose themselves to frostbite without care. They make snowmen who smell through carrots and see through small stones. They laugh a lot and they smile a lot. I like them. They are not oppressed by the white blanket. They are nurtured by it.
Most of us grumble, however. We stomp and grumble to the shops. We shake and shiver and wish we were back indoors. We wonder why-in-the-name-of-God we came out in the first place. Usually we did not leave our homes in the name of God, but in the name of Carrying On Regardless.
We like to think that we are somehow more than mere Nature. It is only snow, after all. It is just a thing in our way, we think. But it stymies us. Impossible as it is to pretend it is not an obstacle, we pretend all the same. Trudging and slipping and getting up and pressing on, we arrive at our destination and what then do we do?
We talk about the snow.