I have experienced a great variety of worse weather. Colder, windier, snowier, more cruel. But today, as I took my long walk through the city, when the wind gusted to 40 mph and ripped the fine snow off of rooftops and tried to peel the flesh off of my face with it, those fine distinctions of worseness became curiously unintelligible to me. I leaned into the particle blast and plowed on in a confused haze of exhaustion. The city was all around me, going about its normal business, almost oblivious. The sky went from clear blue to dark grey in less than 15 minutes. The weather seemed unreal.
And I had a thought. If I were walking in some remote Minnesota woods, down some trail, a suddenly distant mile or two from some cozy cabin of the great north, and this were the weather, I would be probably be fearing for my life a little bit. I would be picturing myself freezing to death as the snow grew deeper and deeper. I would be wondering at how hard a wind can blow. Can it blow harder than this? Than this? The wind, I would find, can always blow harder. I would worry about the numbness in my cheeks, the stinging in my ears that I was unable to relieve. I would think "I can only stay warm enough now by moving, and it is getting harder and harder to move. The wind would howl in the trees and sound like wolves. Night would fall in the middle of the day. Trees would explode. I would crawl.
"I need shelter" I would mumble to myself, coming to an understanding of just how serious the situation had become. I would pull myself through the trees and the drifts, cowering as the wind tried to beat me down. And then I would find my way inside. It is light and warm in there. People are chatting at tables. I unwrap my scarf, and I buy myself a sandwich.