As a high school student I would get up at 6AM to do my laundry for the week as well as quietly listen to four hours of the Rick Dees & The Weekly Top 40 show that ran in my city. Along with that show, where I assiduously kept the chart records for years, there was a one hour show on the same station before the top 40 that played odd and quirky music, much of it from other countries, that had not hit the charts in the United States. Naturally, I was fond of this show as well. One of the songs played on this show only once has stuck with me since that time, because it was a haunting and melancholy tune by an Indonesian-born singer named Anggun called “Snow On The Sahara.” I found the lyrics of the chorus to be particularly moving:
“If your hope scatters like the dust across your track, / I’ll be the moon that shines on your path. / The sun may blind our eyes, I’ll pray the skies above / For snow to fall on the Sahara. / If that’s the only place where you can leave your doubts, / I’ll hold you up and be your way out. / And if we burn away, I’ll pray the skies above/ For snow to fall on the Sahara .”
Now, today I had a lot of time to think about snow. From the time that the first snowflakes started around 10AM or so where I worked, to the time I got home at after 7:00PM, there was a lot of conversation about snow, and speculation about how bad it would be. There were stories of several-hour long slowdowns on our local highways, so I decided I would take one of the bigger roads in the hope that it would be faster than the freeways. It might have been, but it was a harrowing trip nonetheless, with the sliding around, the agonizingly slow traffic, the disabled cars blocking the road (whether accidents, cop cars, or abandoned sports cars with icicles hanging off of them), and the other hazards. I managed to drive the same way I court a young woman–slowly, cautiously, and persistently, hoping that my taste for danger is balanced out by caution and some skill at navigating danger gained through experience. I got home safe and sound after two and a half hours of driving, without hitting any other vehicles. Some of my coworkers were not so fortunate driving out of our parking lot. I had thought it possible that I would stop along the way, but thinking of how everything was closed, I did not want to risk being stuck in some parking lot because I had tried to shop in Snowmageddon, as it is being called around here.
Now, I do not consider myself to be a particularly skilled winter driver. I tend to drive small gas-efficient vehicles (my current car is little different from my normal sort of car in that regard) and I have spent most of my life living in and driving in warmer weather climates. Of course, the most thorough teacher is experience, and so long as one is cognizant of the dangers and not reckless, one generally fares well. And so it was tonight, where I was able to return to my rented condo and enjoy a fire that one of my roommates set up. It may snow outside, but as for me, I am looking forward to a warm and cozy night, before I have to face it again tomorrow morning, more than likely. What must be done must be done, I suppose.