A visitor comes softly in the night and covers the morning with light. It’s cause for celebration. The falling snow in her quiet is my kin. The way she comes, soft, and nests unheard on tree limbs and rooftops—this, my song. She spins her dance through pale sky and wind with silent grace—no thunder clapping prologue…no window tapping insistence. Just this—slow falling accumulation that takes one by surprise in the morning.
Today we are intimates, my cousin snow and I. This morning she came calling with this gift of replevied beauty—the land all luminous and pristine—and reminded me that there is no such thing as ordinary time. For this is where we are on the church calendar: ordinary time. I awakened to the remnants of a week of birthday celebrations … crumbs on the kitchen floor, half-eaten treats tucked into the fridge, dishes stacked in neat piles. And laundry.
Full days of merry lead to neglect of the washing and this morning I am faced with the reality of it. Mounds and mounds of it. There is a load of whites in the dryer waiting for my hands and I fill the other with colors. I carry the basket of whites into the living room and am about to feel the weight of it all when she comes. I see her twirling snow dance through the French doors and I sit the basket down, lean into the glass and let these drifting flakes fill me. My breath is lace and I feel the cold press through me.
The light of morning has not yet come to full and my boys still dream upstairs. There is nothing in her dance to alarm or awaken them. Yet I feel the stirring of these tiny bits of light drifting in the dawn.
Heaven coming down.
There is nothing ordinary about the falling snow—nothing every day-ish. Her crystalline flakes float in the wind, carrying shimmer to earth. My cousin snow understands how to go about the business of life and carry beauty within.
I back away from the glass and return to the basket. This quiet—this time alone is usually my prayer time. I stare at scads of white and determine this: this laundry will be my prayer. These balls of socks are my prayer beads, each soft fold a line of grace. I touch the stuff of life with my heart and I know that this is a gift. The snow-dance lifts me, spins my every-day around. We dip and sway back into life in a quiet rhythm of beauty.
And I hum my prayer as the snow continues to fall.