Here I am, sitting on my couch in the early afternoon. A cup of hot coffee is in front of me, and my cat Oliver is pressed up against my leg with his eyes serenely closed. Today all of New York City is covered in a blanket of snow, and while I sit in my cozy apartment I can’t help but think of all the service workers who are digging out the city today, and all the people who aren’t lucky enough to have a nice warm home like I do.
I grew up in a rural area where everyone had snow plows that attached to their trucks or tractors- we didn’t have a snow day unless it was basically a blizzard. In the big city it’s different, there are so many people and so many systems that even a foot of snow results in massive gridlock. Above ground train tracks (miles and miles of it) have to be cleared for commuters. Hundreds of subway stations have to be cleared and salted, roads have to be plowed despite massive constant traffic.
It’s funny to think that here in the “city that never sleeps”, a city where 800 languages are officially spoken, and where the metropolitan area is home to over 20 million people, a simple snowstorm can upend everything. It’s a great reminder to be grateful for each day. Although this snow storm won’t result in famine or flood or high death tolls- it’s a reminder that there are forces beyond our control, and those forces don’t discriminate based on race, gender, geography, or socioeconomic status.
Anything can happen at any time, and that’s precisely why I think it’s so important to relish the present and enjoy the time we’re given. I know that I will enjoy every moment of today, because I’m lucky enough to be here!
What would you do with a surprise snow day?