Today, much of the East coast is snowed in. Not much of anything is going anywhere any time soon. There will be a wide variety of feelings sparked by this storm some negative some positive. The concept "snow storm" would more generally or quickly be lumped in the "bad news" category. Let's not be so hasty.
First, there is a large group of people, me among them, who love snow storms because of the snow. More than five decades into life I can still stop to make a snowman or snow angel. I am still up for a snowball fight and sledding. I still catch flakes on my tongue.
Second, rarely does a rain storm cause us to say "I'm rained in." We keep moving. However if it is really a snowSTORM - we are snowed in. And there is an immediate sense that this stops everything for a while. And for me, that stopping feels really good. It's not unlike how I feel on an airplane. As soon as they close the door. That's it. I am out of control. There is nothing I can do to manage my fate. So I may as well sit back and enjoy the flight. Same with a real snow storm. Once it's there, you are stuck. Your plans are on hold. You are out of control. And the GOOD thing is you all of a sudden find yourself with time on your hands that you weren't expecting.
If you are stuck in this and live in the city, may I encourage you to go for a walk this afternoon. If you do, and if you think about it, you will discover your neighbors again. People are out of their cars, walking, shoveling snow. No sounds of travel, much less noise generally, a slower pace. All of which highlights the presence of people WITHOUT MACHINES.
Say hi. Help them out. And count on help from others. Something about a snowstorm's stopping the machines encourages us to be more neighborly - and helpful - than we are when are machines are working.
In the book Simple Community, I start with six human experiences that remind us we need and want more community, more time with people in easier settings. A snowstorm is one of the six. If you are lucky enough to have one of those you your community today. Enjoy!
And if it produces a good story of community for you, please, please, please share it here.