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.