It used to be that a blizzard was something I actually enjoyed.
I would hunker down with a good book and cook up a big batch of chicken soup, or bake a cake and enjoy the sound of the howling winds outside while I sat, warm and cozy, seemingly invincible to the vagaries of Mother Nature.
Then came the big storm in October 2011, sometimes known as the Halloween Nor’easter and even, I later learned, Storm Alfred! And we were without power for over 5 days. And a year later there was Super Storm Sandy, where we were spared, but my neighbors had to patch in to our electric because their power was down.
So when the “Mammoth” “Massive” “Once in a Lifetime” storm started bearing down on us on Thursday, rather than planning which cake I would bake or downloading a new book, I was a mass of nerves, fearing a power outage. My town was sending out email notifications- alerting the town that power disruptions were likely. All I could think about was that the last time we had an outage was October and the temperatures were in the 40s and 50s. Now they were in the teens. Whereas I had never thought about the chaos a blizzard or hurricane could create, now it was all I thought about.
Thankfully, for us, the blizzard, though dumping a foot of snow outside our home and further beating down a shrub that has been massacred in 2011, didn’t steal our power and heat and we were really barely inconvenienced.
So although I feel that my innocence may be gone as to how I perceive storms and blizzards, I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t a colossal wake up call, a reminder of all that I have. Like power. Like HEAT! It may be boring, but I am reminded of the words of Shoshana Zuboff, one of the first female professors to be tenured at Harvard’s Business School: “Awareness requires a rupture with the world we take for granted…” I may have lost some innocence, but hopefully I’ve picked up a heightened reverence for all of the most basic things I have – and for which I am truly grateful.