Thursday, February 7, 2013

Amid eternal snows

I remember.  My dad carefully getting out the radio, fiddling with the antenna, and studiously tuning it to WPRO.  The rapid breathing palpitations of excitement.  "Did you hear it yet Dad?  Did they cancel?!?"  We wanted not one, but two school closings: our own, and Dad's.  He was a teacher.  And it was way cool to have him home.  Also, it doubled our chances of going sledding.

I remember running to the window in the morning, screaming with my siblings, jumping with glee on the couch because it was SNOWING!!! REALLY SNOWING!!  We couldn't wait to go out in it.  We made hot chocolate while we waited, boiled milk in pans and trying not to scald it so you didn't get that gross filmy stuff on top.  We found snowpants, and coats, and complained that we didn't need scarves ("yes you do!!" said mom).  And Mom, Mary stole my favorite gloves!  But we sorted it out quickly, because we needed to go out and "shovel".  We put plastic shopping bags over double socks, slipped on the boots that always seemed to leak, and got out there into wonderland. 

I remember fighting over who got to make the first footprints in the new snow.  I liked to keep some untrodden snow on the lawn, but usually I didn't get my way, even though I was the oldest.  I remember testing the quality of the snow: was it the good snowball packing type, or the sledding type, light and dry and fun to fling in the air.  I remember what it was to be having too much fun to feel cold.  With endless energy and enthusiasm, my brothers, sister, and I shoveled the walk all into an intentional mound, where we would hollow out a fake igloo and tunnels.  We would also shovel the neighbors' walks (yes, they loved us) just so we could bring the snow back to our house, one shovelful at a time, to add to our snow mountain (no, my parents didn't love this as much).  We would hollow it out, make tunnels under the snow, and be out there for hours. 

Funny, but I don't remember the mess.  The stressful search for winter attire before, and matching gloves, and boots that fit.  The melting dirty snow from boots, the wet mittens, the wet scarves, the wet hats, the wet EVERYTHING after coming in.  I don't remember being worried one bit if our snow structure collapsed on us.  I'm sure I would have been convinced that would have been more fun. 

But I bet my mom remembers, because now, when I hear "snowstorm," I sigh.  Not just while anticipating how much work it takes to get four kids to play happily in snow without frostbite.  But the icy steps, and the sloppy roads, and the feeling of being "trapped." 

We're now under a blizzard warning, and I am not as excited as my soul truly wants to be.  I find myself fretting, "What would we do if I had to get a kid to the ER during a blizzard? What if the power goes out and there's no heat?  What if I find out the hard way the mystery as to why I should have stocked up on milk and bread? What if... what if... "  Meanwhile, my kids and even husband walk around with broad smiles, and talk about "Blizzard Nemo."  (Really weather-namer-people?  Nemo??)

I was born in the blizzard of '78.  My family has been in New England for generations.  I was made to love snow!  So I'm trying to change my negative mindset by remembering that snow is fun, and can make cool structures.  To focus simply on "what is": Snow can make you go fast.  Snow is pretty, frosting the trees, sparkling in the sun and the moonlight.  No two of the trillions of snowflakes that will be falling will be the same, each one reflecting a tiny bit of the beauty of an infinitely artistic Creator. 


I'm remembering too a poem I learned in college, written by an Irish martyr, Joseph Mary Plunkett.  I was always struck by the poet's ability to see aspects of God in all of Creation.  I still have it framed from where it hung in my dorm room:

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

Enjoy the white-out!  :) TLC

1 comment:

  1. The ER thing came to my mind last night, when Kubus woke up coughing and couldn`t settle down.
    I could ski with him to the ER, but will anybody be there? But so far so good! Stay warm and healthy and enjoy the whiteout too!