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COLUMN: The Beauty of a Boston Winter

T For Two

Heights Editor

Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 22:02

As I struggled to trudge my way up Brookline Ave. two Saturday afternoons ago, a few choice four letter words came to mind when thinking about Boston winters. The wind seemed to be coming from all directions, blowing both my hair and scarf so violently that I was nearly blinded, until I managed to duck into the snow-free safety zone that is the Fenway movie theater.

Although this is my first winter in the northeast, it didn’t take long for me to understand that “light snow” in Boston is much different than “light snow” in Maryland. This realization was what led me to the movies on Saturday, along with seemingly every other Bostonian, instead of to the adorable, hot chocolate and ice-skating filled day in the Common that I had hoped for.

The snow had ruined my plans and it was ruining the little composure I was clinging to after the cramped, Saturday afternoon T-ride. Irritated and dripping, I stared out of the theater’s glass doors at my roommates attempting to brave the wintery-mix. They sloshed across the street in their knee-length jackets, hoods up and heads down, in the same way that I, and every other Bostonian, had embraced the cold.

It is easy to see the beauty in snow when you are looking out on the street from a heated, fluorescently lit movie theatre lobby. To appreciate how it seems to blanket everything so effortlessly. To even almost feel sorry for the cousin of the clean, white sheet that envelopes each storefront, the gray and salted mound that is piled sadly along a curb, knowing that with a small gust of wind it could have instead settled comfortably on a stoplight or an awning.

It is easy to see the inconvenience of snow when you are braving the weather to finally make the much-needed trip to the Plex that you have been avoiding. The bitter chill, the uncomfortable, hot-cold feeling when you finally make it indoors, the constant, and valid, questioning of the state of one’s extremities.

When I was younger, snow used to be a universal good, either meaning a white Christmas or the possibility of a day free from school. Now snow seems to have lost its illusion as every one of those hood-up, head-down walkers was intent on getting somewhere.

We take advantage of it for snow-turkeys, as a means to campaign, and for a winter-themed Gasson-gram that is sure to get upwards of 80 likes. But more often than not, we make our snow turkeys and take our smartphone pictures with our hoods up, and rush, irritated, into the nearest building on the Quad.

I’m not suggesting that walking to class through the snow sans any form of coat is the way to go, but there definitely is merit in maybe keeping one’s hood and head up. To actually look around and notice how pretty snow-dusted Gasson is through your contact lenses, as opposed to that of your Lilly Pulitzer-encased iPhone. Maybe, just maybe, if we are able to see it in the snow, we can start to see the real beauty of other things as well. 

So start with the snow. Liam Neeson didn’t seem to mind it last week—granted, he can arguably take on anything—and neither should we. Yes, it is cold and wet, but it is also soft and delicate. It makes walking down the Million Dollar Stairs all the more interesting, and adds some variation to the green roofs we grow accustomed to seeing in the first semester. Eventually it will end up gray and melted or only as a grainy residue left on a pair of Bean Boots, so we might as well see the beauty of snow while we can, and thank its gracious effort to make Carney look almost as nice as the other buildings on Middle Campus.

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