We’ve been Nemoed. Why they named the biggest winter storm in five years after the cutest animated fish you ever did see, I don’t understand, but so it is. Snow fell in tremendous amounts over night. I must admit I was scoffing the meteorologists who seem to be always predicting apocalyptic weather events. I laughed with friends that Toronto would probably call out the army again to help them dig out. It’s snow, people! We’re in Canada! I changed my tune when I blithely thought I’d pop out to get some packing tape late in the morning, figuring the plows would have been out and the roads would be fine. I’ve lived in Ottawa. I know about winter driving. When I landed knee deep in the snow drift that once was the sidewalk, I realized my weatherman-directed derision was very misplaced. We were, in fact, experiencing a bona fide winter weather event.
And just like that I felt like a kid again. I became giddy and wanted to share the experience with other people. What is it about deep snow that cries out for frolicking? I walked as far as I could in an upright position, wiping snowflakes out of my eyes, grinning like a mad thing at the man who owns the hair salon across the street, pretending he could win the battle for a clear sidewalk against the falling snow. His neighbour the chiropractor brought over another shovel and the two of them went at it. Up and down the street I saw people stop to chat, acknowledging the magnitude of what was happening around us. There at the crosswalk a young man helped a younger boy over the snow bank.
I think these people all felt a kinship of survival. Maybe that element of shared experience broke through the walls of protective isolation so many people build up, particularly in cities. An occurrence out of the ordinary opened their eyes to the world around them. Many were inspired to reach out, to connect, to offer assistance. And while all that was going on, the world was beautiful, and sparkly, and still.
You know the moral of this story, don’t you? We may be dealt a Nemo now and then but if we dig deep something wonderful can come of it.