Bundled up in my warmest winter gear, I open the front door and I’m ambushed by a gust of wind that whips snow and ice into my face. Even though it’s only my eyes that are exposed, I feel the sting and burn of the wind on my whole face. Looking down, I see 3ft of snow, blown up against the building, creating a barrier to me leaving the building. The storm seems to be warning me to stay inside. And I would love to, I want to stay in the warmth with a cup of steamy tea and a good book, snuggled up in a blanket. But the hospital never closes and I must trek to work even in these conditions, even in this blizzard. This is what we do when we have a season of blizzards in Boston, more than a mere snowy winter.
The streets are nearly empty, save for a snow plow and the ever-growing banks of snow. No cars are permitted to drive these streets today, and not even the public transit is operating. I walk through the streets, with no concerns of cars or traffic, a liberating experience in a city normally buzzing with activity. Inside my warm shell of snow-proof clothing, I feel immune to the cold of the snow. Rather, it feels soft and inviting as I kick through it with my snow boots and step into 4ft deep snow banks.
As I enter the Boston Public Gardens, I’m surprised to see a couple of families, complete with adorable bundled up children and elated puppies. They’ve come out to play, and they are having a ball! I continue walking towards work and I pass folks out to walk their dogs, others out to capture photographic evidence of what’s slated to be a top five blizzard in New England, newscasters reporting on the storm that surrounds us, and still others on their way to work. Somehow I had expected to have the city to myself, to be the only crazy person out in the storm after the Governor warned everyone to stay inside. And yet here are handfuls of other “crazy people,” out weathering the storm too!
It’s a heartening reminder of how tough and resilient Bostonians are, to see them facing unafraid this much-anticipated blizzard. Three feet of snow and thirty mile an hour winds won’t get us down. We’re proud of our four seasons and we sure know how to weather the storm in the cold, harsh winter. And it’s a good thing we aren’t afraid to step outside, because the city is pure magic with a layer of snow on top. Boston is even more beautiful now than before, as it embraces the winter and dresses up for the occasion. We Bostonians know how to dress up for this too, and a word to the wise for visitors, you will be much more comfortable with the proper gear!
I make the turn onto the street where my office is and the wind picks up again. I cover my eyes and press onward, eager to reach the warm, dry comfort of the indoors. Winter is best appreciated in moderation after all. And after a few precious hours in the warmth of my office I’m ready to face the wintry weather again. It has eased up a bit and now there are people filling the streets of Beacon Hill, sledding and skiing and snowboarding down those steep streets! Now this is the part about blizzards in Boston that we can all enjoy! It feels like I’m in a Norman Rockwell painting right now. How can this scene get any more perfect?
We’re Bostonian’s and we’re tough. We can stand up to any weather and we do so with grit and determination (and usually some complaining and commiserating). Little did we know at the time, during this second of the blizzards in Boston this season, that we had several more coming our way. Ultimately, we broke the record for most blizzards in Boston in one season in all of history. Go big or go home, right? Maybe next year will be more mild.
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