Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Editorial: Martin, as the snow falls

01/18/2022 03:34PM ● By Richard Gaw

This past Sunday, as the clock reached four-thirty in the afternoon, the forecasters were accurate. Snow began to fall on Chester County.

Captive to the heavy winds that accompanied its arrival, the snow swirled weightless and randomly, landing with no pre-determined destiny – winter crystals in a freefall dance.

For more than two hours, the snow blanketed the county and did so indiscriminately, upon every home, every business and every church, mosque and synagogue.

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."      Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr.

When weather becomes an event, there is no selectivity to its arrival. On Sunday, the snow fell on the homes of Republicans and Democrats and on the roofs where the most progressive liberals live next door to the most stalwart of conservatives. It fell on the houses of those who are twice vaccinated and boosted and on those who deny the need to receive the same.

It fell on the manicured lawns of well-heeled subdivisions where every home’s cupboards are always stocked with an abundancy of food, just as it fell on the sparse and tiny dwellings of the underserved and the outliers, who live in the slivered cracks of this county’s wealth.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

Snow is merely the frozen rain of clouds clashing, and its meandering journey is not predicated on selectivity. It is a large white blanket that unfolds on an entire swath of land indeterminate of the color and culture of the people who live there. Against the tenor of prejudice, bigotry and ignorance, it often lands like a tarpaulin, several gradations beneath a whisper, sparing no one.

“Love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see.”

The snow in Chester County had evaporated by Monday morning, made invisible by a freezing rain, but no matter. Weather, so much stronger than us, had once again enfolded us in a singular definition, a collective humanity, unified beneath its widened and inescapable canopy.

“We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”