Tuesday, November 15, 2005

First snow of the season

Snow can still throw me into a state of youthful giddyness. The novelty of snow lives with many natives of the Pacific Northwest--I remember entire winters when we would receive nothing but a brief flurry. Even with a blanket of an inch or two, the white covering would be gone by lunch. Snow days were truly heaven sent. In the fourth grade, we received about 13 inches of snow in the Seattle Metro. That snow stuck around for nearly two weeks--we missed seven days of school. Urban legend held that we only had one snow plow in King County, so we were stranded at home, many folks in their rear-wheel drive cars couldn't get around. This meteorological event was a fourth graders dream! I've never sledded so much in my entire life. My brothers and I went through three pairs of jeans a day--snow pants would be a silly investment--but we had a dryer and a supply of Brittania jeans for all of us. I didn't even mind that I was still going to school in June because the blissful memory carried through the entire year.

The first snow has come to Southeastern South Dakota for the season. Every first snow and every big snowstorm brings back memories of snow-filled joy--the aforementioned story is only one. The other big snows of my life:

+Halloween storm in Mankato, MN, 1991. Four feet in less than 24 hours. Wow.
+SE Wisconsin in December 2000. It snowed everyday that month but 3--my family was there for Christmas and my brothers, wife, doggie and I relived that big snowstorm of our youth.
+SE Wisconsin in 1999. My wife and I were struggling with sermons. The snow came. We had to cancel worship services so as not to endanger the congregation trying to get to church.

What is it about the snow that enlightens souls? Is it the clean white blanket on the ground? Is it that the land is sleeping and our own longing for rest? Is it the white that brings a spot of hope in a dark day?

I'm not generally a person who has to look outside to feel balanced, but I can't help but look outside today. God does nice work...


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