“Go back to Russia, Polina.” That’s what people tell me when I say I love the snow. Maybe it did somehow seep down from my Russian roots, but there’s something wonderful that this eternal winter breeds in me.
Despite the thrashing snowy tempest, or maybe because of it, I woke up this morning struck with an impulse to write, along with an unflappable sense of joyous motivation — a perfect combination, if you ask me. I soon realized I was walking through campus smiling in the face of the frigid wind. What is there to complain about? It’s a scorcher today — 19 whole degrees outside!
I bet that along your walk, trek or ice skate to class today you cursed the snow, the cold, the winter or maybe the entire state of Michigan. After class this morning, I checked my phone and wearily read through a slew of weather condemnations sent to a group message from my friends. I responded to the group with something along the lines of, “As slippery as it is, can we just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful Michigan is and how awesome it feels to walk through the swirling snow between gorgeous buildings with the bell tower chiming and how glorious academia is in general?”
My friend Michelle’s immediate response: “A really sharp snowflake hit me right in the eye today.”
A while ago I read a New York Times article, “The Longest Nights,” by Timothy Egan, that concisely summarizes the theory of bad weather and its conduciveness to creativity. When the blizzard strikes, people escape to the indoors where their distractions are limited. Within walls and under roofs we sit and reflect while a white powder (or brown slush) temporarily blankets reality. Frosted windows stir the nostalgic soul. Creative juices flow. Great works are born. Productivity peaks. I’m presently at the cusp of my third hour in the basement of Panera and I’ve finished all of my reading for the week, sent 10 or 15 outrageously overdue e-mails and am now in the midst of furiously typing words to form sentences to make up the article you are now reading.
Even if you slipped on the way to class this morning, look around and see the beauty in this opportunity. Quit languishing in weather-related sorrow. Turn that miserable pit of despair into a well of creativity. Revel in the crunch beneath your feet, and when you get home, bake a batch of cookies that rival MoJo’s, or read the book that’s been waiting on the shelf for months. Take the weather for what it is and make the best of it. As my English professor Ralph Williams says, you’re just a guest in life. Wouldn’t you hate to be an ungrateful guest?
Polina Fradkin is an LSA sophomore.