Opinion: Shelter from the storm


“The snow is snowing and the wind is blowing, but I can weather the storm.” Struggling through years of the Great Depression and on the verge of World War II, Irving Berlin penned the 1937 lyrics to “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” Despite the coming tempest, he held, we’d do all right as long as we remembered what really mattered – namely to love and be loved.

It reminds us that we can only control what we can control and should let go of the rest. Still, we seem invariably to occupy our days with thoughts of the feral. We obsess over the uncontrollable and too often overlook that where we could have great influence. While no amount of rage will stop the snow from falling and may not be able to “remember a worse December,” we could send a positive note to a friend, check on an elderly neighbor, or make cookies to share.

Anxiety, suicide, crime and other negative indicators are off the charts. And supply chain disruptions continue to suggest an insecurity of where our next roll of toilet paper might be found. What does it all mean? Once we’ve built the bunker and stacked wood for the winter, is it time to settle in to snuggle a bit by the fire? Can we do more to prepare? Should we? Or is it time to relax for now and wait for the squall to subside?

Berlin’s coming storm would last through 1946 and kill millions. At the end of it all, stability returned, and humans reconnected. Does love sustain us even as hate endeavors to drive us? Can we safely take off our masks long enough to share a smile? Let’s make some hot chocolate and share a blanket. Surely, together we can weather the storm.