I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show.
Since it seems that Puxatony Phil might actually be right this year, I'm not holding my breath for warmer weather. Now that we've hit what feels like the 200th day of snow and sub-zero temperatures, I'm wondering, "And why don't I live in Alaska?" At least then I'd get to see some real mountains and the Aurora Borealis. Ah well, I'll have to settle for my view of the back fence and the snow-covered water tower.
I was talking to my mom this morning and venting my typical pessimism, "Well, this means we'll be snowed in all week." The temperature isn't supposed to hit freezing and the roads are now covered... again.
Her response was typical Mom--a light of truth, "It will just make spring all-the-more sweet."
Without the darker days of winter, would spring hold as much promise and mirth? Would we dance over the first leaves? Shout, "Come look!" over the tulips and daffodils?
Although I detest the cold and have lost my childhood fondness for snow, I must recognized a deeper beauty to winter--one we don't readily recognize.
In Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak, he discusses the benefit of winter. "I am not sure that any sight or sound on earth is as exquisite as the hushed descent of a sky full of snow. Another gift is the reminder that times of dormancy and deep rest are essential to all living things. Despite all appearances, of course, nature is not dead in winter--it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring"(101).
And likewise, neither are we dead in winter. Though the days can bar us up, and nights close us in at 6:00, and the S.A.D. threaten to plunge us under, I want to hope... to believe... that even then am I growing, renewing, finding strength in the "hushed descent" of the season.
Sunday was a scary day for my area. The said-weather-predictors were a little off their game and church-goers were struck unawares by the sprinting snow. My mom barely made it to our house and several others were stranded at churches, stores, and friends' homes. That evening, my husband and I made the short trek down to my mom's apartment complex to shovel snow off sidewalks. I was thankful for the excuse to leave the house and even more thankful for what God unfolded across the sky. The sky had carried heavy shadow all day, but just as the sun dove toward the horizon, the clouds opened and lifted. And this is what we saw.
Spring will come again, but until then, I want to quit fighting so much and find a little peace and patience... and childlike glee over what will be.