Psychological bliss, snow days


Tyler Murphy

I remember the days when a heavy snow fall lifted the hopes. A snow day is one of the few dependable blessings of our long winter season. Most districts keep a reserve of five or six every year just in case. As an adult the work force requires a more dire circumstance than most mere snowstorms can muster. Not very often though a state of emergency and road closures offer us a taste of what it was like being a kid again.

While the harsh weather certainly has draw backs, being snug in your home with Mother Nature between you and the rest of the world leaves you guilt free to indulge in just about any in-house activity desired. No matter how lazy or unconstructive it might be there’s never really a better time to waste. I think the true moment of psychological bliss comes when you suddenly realize this for the first time. The fact that such workdays off happen so rarely only adds to the thrill. Without our consent or prediction all that work we were getting up to do has instead been transformed into a day free of all those responsibilities and obligations. Like I said it’s a beautiful moment.

Or at least that’s how I remember it.

I’m not sure how but I’ve fallen into one of those occupations that’s hardly ever spared a snow day. It just sort of happened. I mean if tomorrow the apocalypse of all snow storms swept into Chenango County my editor would be calling me to cover it. I’ve discovered an employment dimension where: The worse the weather, the more work is demanded. Sort of like emergency workers and public service employees. So while most hopped back into bed earlier this week when a state of emergency was declare I was walking through the two foot drifts at 6:45 a.m. I stepped outside and the first thing I noticed was the four foot drift between my car and the roadway. (I’d rather walk the two blocks to the office.)

Being in the middle of the city in the worst kind of storms happens often and I’m usually charged with taking photographs of the weather and its effects. This leaves me with the feeling I’m one of the only people left alive on the planet apart from an occasional plow operator or police officer. The city streets in the early hours of a fierce storm are vacant of both sound and presence. I love these times. I wander around taking pictures of anything interesting, and during the storms there’s plenty of intrigue around.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy working in the storms in some ways and even coworkers at the office (those that make it in anyway) seem less tense. After all there’s no meetings, calls or routine obligations associated with a regular workday. There is a deadline though (there always is) and actually a few calls made to emergency officials but there’s little to worry about besides the weather. (And we did get to go home after lunch.)

The weather itself is absolutely beautiful if not dangerous. The drift of falling snow causes a peaceful blanket of silent stillness to land all across the relative world. Even while I’m working it’s hard not to feel some strange sense of tranquil comfort. The Evening Sun hasn’t missed a regular day of publication in 120 years, come rain, sleet or snow and on the day it ever happens it won’t be on our watch. So I expect I’ll be making my way through many more local storms.

Snow days have taken on a whole new meaning.