Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow time is happy time

I came to the conclusion last night, as Seattle felt its version of a blizzard, that snow makes the people in Seattle much nicer. All night people were coming into the hotel telling us they wished we could go outside and experience the snowfall, which we all dearly wanted. I was able to skip out of a work a few minutes early, and just barely caught the bus, which was a huge blessing given the frigid temperatures. And then, the bus reached NE 65th St and 15th Ave NE. If you're familiar with the intersection you'll know that there is 1) a bus stop there, and 2) just a VERY slight incline to get started once more. Sure enough, after letting a snow covered civilian on the bus, we were unable to pull away from the curb. The bus driver then began the process of slowly moving up the hill and by the end of his efforts (which took about 10 minutes) we had successfully conquered the one block of the low grade incline. People were happy, and grateful, for the bus driver being able to continue on. It was remarkable! There wasn't the slightest grumble of how late it was (about 11:30pm) or how much time it took or what an inconvenience the snow was. There was the understanding that this man who was driving our bus was doing the best he could, but circumstances out of his control prevented him from operating as usual. And I don't think it's just snow. I was thinking about what it was about snow that make people in Seattle happier and I've come to a few conclusions. 1) It causes people to slow down. If you listen to Seattle when it snows it is so much quieter and calmer because Seattle-ites don't know how to drive in the snow! Traffic comes to a stop, or at least to a mozy, and the city finally rests. 2) It covers dirt, and to a certain degree, unseemly industrialization. In other words, when snowfall comes you can forget you live in a big city and find peace, in addition to rest. 3) It's extraordinary. People in Seattle are grumpy when its grey, pleasant when it's sunny, and freakin' happy when it snows, and I believe that is all directly related to the proportion of the weather events.

And now the snow is melting, and I can hear the cars pass and the honking horns and I urge the snow to come again. However, if what makes people so nice about snow is the rarity of the occurrence, then perhaps it's better for us all if the snow waits a couple weeks. Although, I am still hoping for a white Christmas.