Ordinarily when it snows, my instinct for self preservation kicks in. To me, each snowflake is a tiny enemy intent on doing me harm.
If I have plans that require driving, I cancel them. Then I bar myself in the house and worry. Snow is slippery under tires. Sometimes it drops from the sky so fast and heavy, that you can't see through it. Cars and drivers behave unpredictably when they're out in it. Bad things happen.
If it's snowing I will not drive. Never. Ever. Except, last week, I did.
For two and a half hours, I drove in the snow so I could participate in something that lasted, literally, three minutes.
This is it:
I'm still not quite sure what compelled me to be there. Sure, I was looking forward to it. I attended rehearsals. I played a practice video and danced alone in front of the computer. There was that whole, "show must go on" impulse, but it was more than that. The flash mob was organized by NEADS and billed as a Valentine for Boston. Originally, it was to be held a month earlier on a smaller scale and for an audience of one: Patrick Downes, who lost his leg in the Boston Marathon bombing last April. Cathy Zemaitis and Lisa Brown who work for NEADS cooked up the idea with Pat's wife, Jessica. Jess also lost a leg in the blast and in September, was matched with Rescue, a NEADS service dog whom I puppy raised. Patrick was facing another surgery and the flash mob was meant to be a spirit-lifting surprise.
Patrick recovered from the surgery quicker than expected. But Boston is still healing. This became evident when NEADS asked survivors and the professionals who treated them to join the flash mob. NEADS was overwhelmed by the response. The flash mob grew into a group therapy session of the best, most joyful, spontaneous kind.
About 70 of us fought our way through the blizzard to reach our meeting spot at Copley. The music was cued and we ran to our places, a unified mob, pumping our fists in the air. If hatred couldn't stop us, neither could the snow.