New York City in the Snow
Have you ever seen New York in the snow?
On normal days,New York is not dissimilar to any other sprawling metropolis dotted around the globe. Compared to some it might have more history, it may look antiquated and quaint. But it has certain similarities to all of them, hundreds of thousands commute into New York for work every day, some may live there, some not, some will socialise there, some not, there are people living and working in New York who grew up there, but most were born somewhere else. There are over 800 languages spoken in New York City. For this reason, New York is often recognized as the world's most linguistically diverse city.
But when the working day is over, and the people have gone home, you will see the city laid bare, it’s dirty and noisy, sometimes not very well maintained, there are good bits and bad bits. If you were to walk around New York you might think that the city is near to collapsing under the weight of the sins committed by its inhabitants. You might feel that the air pollution is a result not of the cars and trucks and buses but the exhaled breath of the buildings trying to clear their throats, or the souls in the pursuit of capitalism to which they have been subjected. Sometimes it feels that no matter what might change there is no way it could ever get clean again.
The history, the people, the businesses all combine together in a stew of greed and capitalism, similar stews can be found across the globe. But then occasionally something funny happens, something that reminds us all that it is simply a thin veneer, a mask that hides the true city and its people. It’ll snow…
New York in the snow is simply one of the most beautiful and incredible places in the world, even the most hardened of capitalists can be seen shrugging off the business mask and enjoying the sheer beauty that the falling snowflakes bestow upon the city. The news media will always predict the worst when snow hits, and people will stay away, but if you do venture in, you’ll see magic in the making. In the exact same city with added snow you see the true beauty of each person that normally day to day is masked away.
People will stop and gaze at white parks and snowflake encrusted trees and bushes, the whole city will have a glistening sheen across it that seems to promise that all is not lost, magic still lives there and all you have to do is let it in. People might smile easier and forget about the late or non-running trains when the city is graced with white flakes. There is a air of joy and relaxation that isn’t there the rest of the year.
Stop and look around you right now, where you are now, be it at work, at home on a train or plane. Does life feel magical or is it simply one more stressful situation you’re moving through to get to the next one? Wouldn’t you feel happier if you could look around and see fields of pristine white, promising you that everything is new again? That’s what New York in the snow feels like, it feels like a fresh start.
Do we honour it or lead it to ruin? In every situation, think of snow. Be it stressful or anxious, there are reasons to find joy and something to embrace and move forward with. We just have to see those opportunities as beauty and grab them, move forward not from a stressful place but from one of joy and newness, just like New York seems to when it snows…
I don't know why, headed into spring I thought of this. Maybe it was images of the city with no traffic due to this stay at home period. The streets are empty now as though there had been a snowfall. But the bustle will not return in a day or two like it does after it snows. There is no sense of when the city might return to it's bustling former life. There is an eerie shadow hanging over the city right now. Even some billboards in Time Square are now empty. New York just seems sad right now, almost like it did after 911, except that the rebound was swift and energetic after that tragedy. This current epidemic is just silently taking hundreds of lives every day, and the statistics are heart and mind numbing.
These images of New York City in the snow are somehow comforting since they were taken under more "normal" circumtances.
The most important thing right now is to remain optimistic, as difficult as that may be. This time will pass, and although the scars still may show for quite a while, we have to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just as our faith in God should be unchanging, so should our ultimate optimism be steadfast as a rock. We believe in a better future because God cannot leave the world as it is. Ultimately there are enough holy and righteous men and women on the earth that God cannot and will not abandon this earth until we see the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth as it is in Heaven.
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