Lest we forget

Good luck, everyone in the path of the winter storm affecting the northeastern U.S. Get home safe!
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

I originally wrote this on March 4, 1997. Although I now live with my wife in Florida, at the time I was living in New Jersey. It's as true now as it was then. Good luck, everyone in the path of the winter storm affecting the northeastern U.S. Get home safe!

Image courtesy the David Gewirtz collection, taken circa 1997. And no, that's not my car. Definitely not my style.

In about three hours today, my world view changed radically.

Let me be clear, this is not an "warm-fuzzy" or "let's join hands and feel good together" kind of statement. My view of the world changed radically.

That's because the world changed radically. At about noon, it was proto-spring. The grass was almost green, the ground was getting soft. At times this weekend, it almost hit seventy.

Then, in three short hours, everything was white. Winter happened and the world changed. Everything slowed down. Hues were replaced with contrast, gradiations of white to gray.

And Mother Nature reminded us all, that despite the power of our electrons, our Internet, our concrete spreaders, our street cleaning machines, our superior technology or apparent intellect--despite all that--Mother Nature was still clearly in charge.

As winter storms go, this was benign. Road conditions were pretty good. And the scenery was jaw-droppingly beautiful. I drove home under a canopy of white dusted branches, past farm fields that truly did seem as pure as the driven snow.

By early next week, today's snow will be but a memory. Perhaps that was her point. To make us remember. For under some of those fields, humans created toxic dumps that eventually became SuperFund sites, that eventually became clean again.

Let's try to remember her lesson. That Mother Nature has enormous influence on our world view and that view can be lovely. But we live in that world, recipient's of Mother Nature's gifts. Let's remember to respect those gifts.

But let's also remember the power of her fury. Lest we forget.

Once again, you're in our thoughts. Be safe out there!

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