Special Report From Snowpocalypse Chicago

Snow crowds the air today—it’s Chicago’s “Storm of the Century,” the debilitating dump that has nearly every Chicagoan home staring out windows.  I’ve been watching the skylight in our common room.  The snow falls. Wind sweeps it away.  Repeat.

As I write, I hear a neighbor working at the piles around her car.  Occasionally another neighbor passes by saying something I can’t hear, but I imagine it’s “Are you crazy?  Go inside.  Don’t you know God gave us this storm as a day of rest?”

Perhaps I’m projecting.

We are free from school, and I’m happy to find myself lost.  Certainly, I could shovel (though more will fall) and certainly I could grade (though more will fall), but found time is the sweetest sort, too precious to waste at familiar labor.  If it weren’t so miserable out, I might join my neighbor, move a little of her snow, and have the conversation we’ve never had about any subject safe to assume common between us—the weather, for instance.

The way the snow is falling, however, she’ll be gone before I can don the spacesuit necessary to be outside today.  So instead I’ll just stay in my dream mode, as if I were in that spacesuit and floating in liberated time.

Days like today make me wonder how we spend time, whether “spend” is the proper verb at all.  Why does it take the storm of the century to make us still?

This afternoon, when the sky stops falling, we will emerge and see our shadows.  The plows will push the snow, and cars will grind it into gray water again.  My neighbor’s car will be missing from its spot, the bare rectangle proof of her initiative.

You’ll find me inside, still at the window, secretly wishing for another snow day, wishing for a snow day every day, all year.

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2 Comments

Filed under Buddhism, Chicago, Essays, Laments, life, Meditations, Modern Life, Prose Poems, Snow, Thoughts, Winter, Work

2 responses to “Special Report From Snowpocalypse Chicago

  1. I hope you enjoyed the day! I miss snow. When Southern California was drowning in rain a few weeks ago, I felt the same way. I really enjoyed it. I felt like I was in some kind of dream as I heard it tap, sometimes pound on our roof. I miss it.

    Happy Lunar New Year. It’s the year of the Rabbit!

    Thanks. I’m back at work now, but grateful for the break.

  2. Oh but this was as lovely as standing at the window watching the snow fall. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, at our penchant for hurry, for constantly doing, when there is such pleasure in just being.

    Beautifully said, and thanks. —D

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