sympathy and empathy

Recently there have been scenes on the news because of the winter storms those places are experiencing and the huge snow amounts they have received. Each time I have seen this on the TV I have thought how glad I am not to be there, in those areas. The older I get the more I appreciate warm weather.

When I was younger I loved the peaceful sight of snow covered ground. I still value those scenes, but now I have a better understanding of the hardships that can be caused by such weather.

As a teacher I ruthlessly wished for snow – enough to get us out of school for the ever-longed-for snow day. Sometimes – most times – that was a selfish request, not considering what slippery roads meant for those who did not have their work cancelled due to inclement weather.

This year, even though I have retired, I have still longed for snow. For the beauty of it, and for a day off for my former colleagues. But I have not wanted it too much or too intensely. Things change…. I have had sympathy for those who are in the Midwest and Northeast, suffering through, literally, tons of snow.

Today, instead, I have empathy for those folks, because today, in southern middle Tennessee, we are in a mess. Today the predicted snowstorm has materialized instead as ice – sleet and freezing rain, pellets that bounce and beat the windows and accumulate to look like snow but produce a much more dangerous surface for driving and walking. The downtown area of our small town was without power for a while, and there have been numerous wrecks on the slippery streets.

icy branch

Where once I felt sorry for those folks experiencing tough weather, I now lament with them for the hazards we are all experiencing.

It will only get worse tonight.

icy branch night

May we all stay safe and warm.

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