A Bombogenesis You Say?

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

February 3, 2022

About this same time last week, I heard the loud chatter of an upcoming blizzard. I’m not one to take anything at face value, so I took what I heard with a grain of salt. In my mind, we were either going to get a blizzard, or the meteorologists were wrong, and we’d have annoying rainfall. Nevertheless, I checked my shed. I had all the essentials. Pet-safe salt. Check. Snow Joe. Check. Shovels. Check. Snow tubes. Check. Then I went inside. I had enough food, hot cocoa, and coffee to last through the weekend. I was ready to be snowed in should the occasion arise.

I grew up in Northern New Jersey, no stranger to snow. Then I moved north to southeastern Connecticut. It snows here, too. And while I understand the need for storm preparation, I’ve never understood the frantic dash to over-prepare for a storm. Why do we behave this way? Didn’t COVID teach us we could be home for weeks at a time and only need to leave the house for necessities?


Did It Snow?

Yes, it did. It snowed and snowed and snowed. We ended up with almost two feet of powdery light snow. And not only was it a regular blizzard – we had ourselves a bombogenesis. It was intense. But it was also beautiful to watch. My town handled the roads masterfully. We were only stuck in the house for a little more than 24 hours. We had enough food and tools. We even had fun. And there was no frantic dash or frenzied worry. We just watched the snow fall and knew we were prepared.

In Dr. Daniel Siegel’s book Mindsight, he uses a metaphor coined as the River of Integration to describe a healthy, thriving mindset. When we’re in this river, we can be flexible, adaptive, coherent, and stable. On either side of the river there are banks: the Bank of Chaos and the Bank of Rigidity. If we land on the Bank of Chaos, life feels unpredictable, unstable, and out of control. If we land on the Bank of Rigidity, we feel the need to control everything in our power.

Perhaps the threat of a bombogenesis knocked many folks onto one of the riverbanks. Life seemed too unpredictable, or they felt so out of control that they needed to become rigid.

I’m glad I kept floating down the middle.