Trumpeter swans in the snow.
Photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell.
I looked at the piles of snow outside the window this morning and decided it was time to get out my old REI gaiters. Bought them years ago – wore them to the tops of Rainier, Baker, and Adams. Zipped them onto my legs on some mighty fine cross-country ski trips. There are a lot of happy memories attached to those old leg coverings. And today I added some more memories when I wore them on my walk in the snow…
The husband was worried about me. “It’s cold out there!” he said. “It’s 18 degrees out. Do you need a scarf? Bring your cellphone in case you get in trouble. How about I just drive you to the post office.”
“But,” I told him, “I want to walk to the post office. I need an adventure.” And he knew that was true.
So I bundled myself up – hat, wool sweater, thick socks, snow boots, gloves – put my backpack on and my camera around my neck and set out on my Big Adventure.
What I soon realized was that it wasn’t cold at all. 🙂
And I had a wonderful adventure – I saw eagles, a heron, a hawk, and a red barn in a field of snow. Mike and Lalia from Bow Hill Blueberries made a little snowman (with eyes and smile of blueberries) for the picket fence in front of their store, and the clerk inside ladled me out a sample of hot blueberry cider. On the way back from the post office I stopped off at Samish Bay Cheese Factory and brought home a slice of very fine cheesecake…
Life is good.
I love Snow Days. I love waking up to a world bedazzled in sparkling white. I love the laughter of rosy-cheeked children building snowmen, and the sound of the teapot whistling on the range. I relish the cozy contrast between the warmth of the dancing fire in our woodstove, and the cold of the snow falling softly outside our windows. I love school closures, and cancelled appointments, and the chance to slow down and take a break from the hurry and rush. I love the peace.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the “have tos” of life, isn’t it? – the meetings and expectations, the driving, shopping, and human busy-ness. Snow days shut the busy-ness down and give us time to reflect, and take stock in what we already have.
Today I looked around at what I already had, and, feeling like a pioneer woman living off the land, pulled from my freezer a bag of blackberries I’d picked last summer, got out the flour and butter, and created a mighty fine blackberry pie. I give credit to the snow for this. If I hadn’t had to cancel two appointments, I wouldn’t have had time to make that pie.
Some people may think they see “the hand of God” in earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, but I don’t believe my God, Love, has anything to do with that stuff. Nope. Give me a Snow Day, wrapped all up in sparkling white, and filled with peace, and I’ll show you an expression of my God.
(originally published in January, 2012)
Here’s a clip of yesterday’s snow day as seen from our back deck.
And some photos from this week’s snow…
“And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
– I Kings 19: 11-12
So about four years ago a friend suggested to me that I check out this karaoke site – Singsnap. Kind of cool site. I didn’t spend a lot of time on there – I was only on there a few months – but I quickly recorded and stockpiled some of my favorite Christmas carols before I left.
(Wintery photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell)
So I’ve been feeling kind of guilty because I’ve got this joy just bubbling up inside me right now – there’re big, fat snowflakes falling gently outside my window, and Christmas tree lights twinkling on the tree, and birds snacking at the birdfeeder, and a cat sitting in the window watching it all, and Burl Ives is singing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” – and this moment is just so perfect and beautiful! But I know there are also a lot of really horrible things happening in the world right now – cruelty and murder and corruption and greed and pollution and starvation – and so I’ve been sitting here wondering if it’s right for me to feel happy.
And… so what I’m thinking is… how is being unhappy going to feed starving children or shelter the homeless? And how is surrendering my joy to bullies and bigots and busybodies going to help end bullying and bigotry and busybodying?
So. Yeah. I guess I’m going to let go of the guilt. I am going to be shameless about my joy. Incorrigible. Irrepressible. Unrepentant. And I ain’t apologizing.
“Be happy at all times and in all places; for remember it is right and a duty you owe to yourself and to your God to retain the right, no matter how loudly the senses scream.”
– Edward A. Kimball