Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Snow long, winter

By the time you read this, I hope that I’m wearing a lovely short-sleeved blouse, stylish capri pants and high-heeled sandals, and sitting on a bench on the deck of Balfour-Hood complaining about how hot it is.

Page2-Between-lines-1I write this today not quite sure that this will be the case. It is the fifth day of spring, and, yet, I just wrote the umpteenth winter storm alert to email to the campus community, because the “s” word is on the way—again.

It has been an ugly New England winter. Just consider the numbers: By early March, Wheaton’s buildings and grounds crew had used 250 tons of rock salt; 2,000 bags of ice melt (50 pounds each); and responded to 19 snow or ice-related storms (double the amount during the same time frame last winter).

However, there was still great beauty to be found. The campus landscape, of course, was gloriously picture-perfect draped in white. But the most beautiful sights were the ones that took place in offices in the hours leading up to the storms, when staff members began watching forecasts, making plans; and in the darkness of the late nights and early mornings, when buildings and grounds crews showed up time and again eager to dig out the campus parking lots and clear off the pathways to make everything nice and safe for everyone, before we even considered venturing out.

There is great beauty in the kind of dedication that they—and other staff members and faculty—show in caring for this campus community. Yes, they are all paid to do it, but the pride they seem to take in their work goes well beyond the call of duty. It is the kind of beauty that reflects the special hold that this college has on the people who work and learn here.

For reminding us of that, we thank you, winter. Now, so long.

The three images above are part of an ongoing project titled “Inside-Out,” a collection of photos shot through windows around campus. See more on Instagram.com/wheatoncollege.

Photos by Charles Wang ’15 (first two above and shoveling) and David Laferriere