The upside of snow


It’s snowing again.

This isn’t exactly breaking news here in West Michigan. Thanks to our close proximity to beautiful Lake Michigan, we get pounded with lake effect snow all winter. Getting a foot-and-a-half of the white stuff before Thanksgiving is a little extreme, though, and caught most everyone off guard.


Back on that hot, humid July day when I booked a gig for the third week of November, wintery weather was not even a consideration. But there I was yesterday, driving 20 MPH on the highway to my gig, snow boots on, harp in tow, hoping the police wouldn’t shut down the highway before I made it to my destination.

Thankfully, I made it to the hall, but only to find the loading zone covered in more than a foot of dirty, snowy slush. No chance I was going to unload my harp in that mess. Street parking wasn’t an option, so I punted and parked across the street in a parking garage. I unloaded my harp, threw my gig bag over my shoulder, and hoofed it through the parking garage. Once I hit the sidewalk, my brisk walk slowed to a shuffle as I tried to navigate the harp over ice- and snow-covered sidewalks, keeping myself and the harp upright.

By the time I made it inside the hall, I was out of breath and freezing. I changed out of my wet boots, peeled off a few of the five layers I was wearing, and uncovered my harp. It was still chilled from of our frigid commute from the parking garage, so I let it warm up for a few minutes before tuning, leaving me about five minutes to warm up before the rehearsal began.

Now here’s the crazy thing—rehearsing Stravinsky felt like a relaxing walk on the beach compared to the stress of physically getting myself and my harp to the rehearsal in one piece. My white-knuckled commute in near white-out conditions was stressful; playing music, by comparison was not. Had I driven to the hall on clear roads, unloaded my harp in the convenient loading zone, and pranced into rehearsal with 45 minutes to spare, I would have been stressing out about the music. Thanks for putting things in perspective, Mother Nature.

On that note, I should probably go. I have another rehearsal today, and it’s snowing again.


About Author

Editor of Harp Column, freelance harpist, private teacher, hot yoga lover, and grammar geek.

1 Comment

  1. That is so true. When there are little to no obstacles, we, at times, tend to add on stress and more stress. But put obstacles in our path, we put on our armor, break through the barriers and when we’ve made it through we feel triumphant. And we come to appreciate our destiny more, if that makes sense. Sometimes I think we were just wired that way. Just so we feel that we are alive and kicking.

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