My windows look down on one of the many St. John’s intersections where five narrow streets converge. On a freezing midnight this week I sat, warm and comfortable, in that window watching an amazing performance.
Two giant snow-plows made great graceful swirls and loops, pushing mountains of snow into place for a line of waiting trucks. This whole scene was lit by city workers who moved from corner to corner holding stop signs and lights. It was a revelation — a skillfully choreographed dance of man and machine.
Watching, I began to think of other city workers whose jobs I have taken for granted; those women and men who cleaned up so efficiently after the Santa Claus parade, the people who plan and plant the uplifting displays of tulips in our parks each spring, those workers with buckets and brooms I see sweeping litter from our streets and sidewalks in the summer.
These people reassure me — they are proof that, despite all my grumbling and outrage (usually justified), the city does get some things right.
In other places, in other times, cities have commissioned artists to paint working people — maybe St. John’s should consider that. Meanwhile, I want to say thank you to those workers who do their best to make this a livable city.