Friday, February 14, 2014

A day after the snow.

Yesterday I walked to work in the snow.

It was a wet, heavy snow, with flakes large and slow and it was accompanied by a howling gusty wind that sped frozen rain against your face and stung. I pulled my Asktrakhan hat low over my ears and pulled up the collar of my oilskin. Not much of me was exposed to the elements, but what was exposed was taking it hard.

I bent my head down and walked through the accumulating, across the Upper East Side, across a blanketed and nearly empty Central Park.

The city was quiet, the snow kept people away in droves. I heard a faraway whistle of a train crossing over the Hells Gate four miles away. I heard another train whistle moments later from about a mile away--a Metro North train emerging from the Park Avenue Tunnel at 97th Street.

Central Park which usually bustles with runners and people like me crossing it to get to work, was very nearly empty. The dog walkers had stayed home, and of course, the school groups were missing. Either classes were cancelled or gym was being held indoors.

I saw one other walker when I was out and two runners keeping their footing and making a trail of their steps. I also saw three sleek cross-country skiers with their awkward spasticated gaits gliding across the white.

I thought about taking the day off, about not going in, because, I suspected, attendance in my office would be light. But, my Puritan side prevailed. I have miles to go.

It's good to walk across a park at least once a week and unplug. It's good to mark the change in seasons not merely by the changes of sports teams. It's good to see snow one week and the little pixels of purple crocuses the next, and then the forsythia, and then the dogwoods and then red buds, then green.

It's good to know that time is marching on and that seasons are passing. It helps you question your progress, your drive and your goals.

There were all sorts of apocalyptic predictions about the snow yesterday. People forget that snow, like trends, fads, "new" new things and the flavor of the week, is not permanent. And if New York had been covered by 14-inches as some were predicting, or if New York had been sheathed in a thick veil of ice, ok. We'd survive.

Our feet might get cold and our cheeks might burn and we might fall on our well-padded keisters, but this is life. We go on.

We put one foot in front of the other and so and so.

We get to work.

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