A Winter Tale in Shades of Gray

Matt Storin ’64 | December 31, 2018

Editor's Note: This piece is part of "12 Days of Classics," a holiday series drawn from the magazine's archives and published at magazine.nd.edu from Saturday, December 22, 2018, to Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Merry Christmas!

From spring through fall, the beauty of the Notre Dame campus can stun first-time visitors.

In January, well . . . it ain’t necessarily so. Though the Dome and the Basilica project strength and spirituality year round, Notre Dame has its bleak and monochromatic moments in the depths of a northern Indiana winter.

When leaves are turning or tulips are blooming, campus is like a movie set. Brilliant colors punctuate lavish natural backdrops. A film director might feature the Marching Band or sons and daughters in caps and gowns. Football and commencement are the true names of Notre Dame’s high seasons: All the plantings and trimmings are aimed at those peak events. But come late November, the “set” is struck. Notre Dame tucks in for a season most alumni endured as students and never wanted to see again.

Winter brings the November-to-April “permacloud” and a biting wind. As one University employee remarked to me last winter, “No matter what direction you walk on campus, it seems like the wind is always in your face.” Then there’s lake-effect snow, and the occasional system snow, to whiten the ground much of the time.

It puts one in mind of this old joke:

Q: What did Father Sorin say when he arrived in the late fall of 1842?

A: “We’ll just stay here till the weather gets better.”

Read more here.

 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: ND Magazine