You hurry along the path to the Main Conservatory, hunched over on a morning that is dark, cold, and windy. Snow is falling and already some is sticking on the grass and trees. You wonder what possessed you to come out on a day like this—until you open the conservatory door. It is like Dorothy stepping into the Land of Oz. You are moving from a cold, black-and-white world into a warm world in full Technicolor, complete with the sent of flowers floating over the pleasant smell of damp, fertile earth. You are not in Kansas anymore.
If rainy days at Longwood are beautiful, snowy days are sublime—but much rarer. To appreciate any of it, you must be free from any fear of getting home. You will be wasting your time if back in the corner of your mind you are concerned about slipping on the ice, sitting in backed-up traffic, or finding your way around traffic detours as night falls.
So, if you find yourself at Longwood enjoying a snowy day, you probably came by tour bus and are leaving the worry to them. Or—you were lucky to be there last year on the morning of April 2.
The week before April 2 was warm, as you would expect in early spring. Although snow began in the early morning, the ground was far too warm for the snow to freeze on the roads, and the trend throughout the day was for continued warming with no chance of late-day freezing. I was unconcerned as I drove to my scheduled morning shift.