Reporter Editorial: Winter dilemmas

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO

Beautiful or terrible? Or both?

The reaction around town this week to the snow was the either-or variety, or a combination of the two.

The beauty, for those with eyes to see, is undeniable. There’s nothing like a snowfall to transform known, taken-for granted sights, from landscapes to a mundane building’s roof into something renewed, bringing fresh perspectives on the ordinary. Sunlight literally sparkles. And it’s not just about sights either, since snowfalls perform alchemy with sounds — hushed, yet clear, ringing like iron.

Right. Yeah. Remind us of that when we’re digging driveways out and then de-shrouding cars, cranking empty, useless RPMs while rocking and wrecking transmissions from reverse to drive, digging tires deeper into the cold, wet stuff sent for only one purpose, to cast misery down on us. Did I say cold? And wet?

The forecast for the rest of the week looks like a biblical curse, with more snow predicted and the real dangers of ice causing power outages. Besides snow and ice, the forecasts are full of words like “sleet,” “freezing rain,” and that description that sends tremors through the soul — “wintry mix.”

A phrase from the poet W. B. Yeats might sum it up: “A terrible beauty is born.”

But while we sing sonnets to snow’s beauty and damn its inconveniences, we should thank the Highway Department crews under the leadership of Jay Card Jr. The department has performed efficiently and quickly to keep major roads open, working through several long days and nights to plow the wet, fluffy snow that Mr. Card described as “a pain in the neck,” because it blows back on to roads recently plowed. No matter, in almost all cases, traffic has flowed on the Island.

With the grim forecast for weather ahead, patience will be the sign of the virtuous, and needed to help all who help us when winter decides to disrupt our lives.

And we should also remember to aspire to be counted among those who have eyes to see.

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