With all our technological and medical advancements, it’s amazing to me that our society still comes to a standstill during bouts of extreme weather. We can defeat cancer in many patients. We can implant new organs and save lives. But, if we get 2 inches of snow, the cities shut down and people storm the grocery stores in a panic. This is an irony with which I have been long fascinated.
Today, Kansas City braces for a snow/ice/sleet storm that the meteorologists say will be of epic proportions. They are anticipating 10 – 15 inches of snow at a rate of 1 – 2 inches of snow per hour. The storm is now predicted to last through tomorrow. I am sitting at home with my computer, editing for our upcoming deadline at work. I am lucky that my employer will allow me to work from home. So I guess life no longer comes to a complete stop. I can still work from my couch.
I remember the great ice storm of 2002 in Kansas City. It was my senior year in high school. We got so much ice that we lost power at my parents’ house for 9 days. I remember staring out into the darkness, watching transformers explode with their distinctive pops and flashes of blue light. It was freezing cold of course. I curled up in front of the fireplace with my mom, dad, sister, grandfather, and our 3 dogs for 9 days. Our day ended when the sun set. I read by the light of a lantern and soon discovered why people went blind in the days of candles before houses were equipped with electric lights.
We can predict the weather, although the likelihood of the prediction being accurate varies. We can see hurricanes coming and evacuate everyone in their path. We learned how to protect ourselves from tornadoes. But still we are subject to the wrath of every storm. Cars slide off the roads. We battle snow and ice with salt and other chemicals. But still, nature prevails and perhaps reminds us of our smallness in the grand scheme of life.
Personally, I think it’s great that the world comes to a standstill when we get a huge snowstorm. Life goes at full speed all the time. It’s nice to be forced to take a seat for a moment. Perhaps it’s nature’s way of reminding us that there is more to life than work and rushing around. So, as I sit here and wait out Winter Storm Q (a terrible name if you ask me), I will enjoy working in my sweats and sipping hot chocolate—as long as the power doesn’t go out!