West Virginia Morning: Fallen Snow

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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.

Playdates with God: In Like a Lion




The meadow behind our home is a wonderland of down-covered grasses, branches muted by sleeping silver. My boys still dream upstairs, the house is quiet. So I pull on the long boots and go out to stand in the stuff. There is a magic in March snow—the way it quiets a slow-stirring earth. Just yesterday I noticed that the tops of the Pussy Willow tree were beginning to bud and now that gentle awakening is stilled again.

The snow birds are back this morning–enjoying a frolic in that white stuff that fell over a layer of ice overnight. A trio of them perch in the naked forsythia bush; feathery baubles fluffed out against the cold. 


I sit with my morning coffee and watch ornitho-antics. The still falling snow does not deter their play…they flit to and fro with sudden graceful movements as if dangled from invisible wire–an infant’s mobile orchestrated by invisible puppeteer. 

I am that infant. 

I watch, bedazzled as this scene plays out against winter-white.

I am thinking about seasons. This surprise-snow reminds me of my Father. How He likes to astonish, fill me with wonder. The seasons He orchestrates for me are not predictable. They do not come with a mark on the calendar. They are sprinkled down from heaven in the dark of night like this dusting before my eyes this morning.

The weather men spoke caution all day yesterday and we went to bed to the soft patter of an icy rain. When I opened my eyes to morning light I heard the snow in the silence. The world unspeaking, muted by an insulating mantle of purity. As we prepare our hearts to enter into Lent, it seems only fitting.

And so, I am quieted. 

There is no shame in this silence, only a gentle hand cupping my face. I am still as the coverlet falls over me. There is only relief. No striving, no pushing, no struggle against injustice.

Just blessed peace.


Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

The Playdates button:

Playdates with God: A Snow Baptism

On Sunday we drive home from church and I notice the hyacinth bulbs are blooming. They are blushing locks of lavender and fuchsia under the pear tree—which is budding out with its own white fingertips.
That morning we celebrated the baptism of baby Luke and I stood with misty eyes to make my promise to him and his mamma and daddy who I love so much. And I think these colorful bulbs must be the earth’s way of promising too—speaking joy over the day.
So I am not surprised when we awaken this morning to a heavy blanket of white—those whispers of color sealed in woolen trappings. And for a minute I worry about the Pussy Willow tree that had just started to bloom and those tender buds on the plum. It’s not going to be a very pretty spring, I think to myself as I stand at the window. But then school is delayed two hours and my boys don’t even bat an eye when I put on my big black boots over my PJs and pull the old blue robe tight around me.
And the meadow shimmers in her new dress and Mr. Cardinal flashes red against a snow covered branch and I think about the Pastors’ hands on that baby’s head, how the water covered him and claimed him.
And I know this white crocheted over everything I see…this white is a promise.
He makes all things new. Oh, glory. He makes all things new.
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

The Playdates button:

 

Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button

We, the Beneficiaries

Heavy white hushes the hum of living. Footfalls sink silently into deep and breath becomes vapor. The heavens, a mirror, and my reflection lost in falling bits of pallid sky. The earth has been given a new robe, and we–the beneficiaries.
Yesterday, it all worked against me.
Yesterday, still is in my mind. There is the snow-buried car. The slow-moving traffic. The hour it takes to drive twenty-five miles to and from work. The patients with their faces pressed against the glass. The new one who broke my heart. Yes, she has the voice of an angel. And the snow keeps falling, falling.
Looks like you’re staying here with us tonight.
The patients joke and tease. We laugh and watch accumulation grow deep from within the warm walls of the hospital. I leave a little early, to the envy of the others. Ah, the joys of being a consultant with no benefits. I help a dear lady dig her car out in the lot and she tells me that she’s heard the interstate is impassable around Cross Lanes.
I make my way west and head to the boulevard. I want to escape the big trucks and ruts of slushy snow that keep pulling me into their clutches.  I drive along the river. That glassy womb holds flows of ice and small sternwheelers are docked at her edge. I imagine the moon in her belly, giving this iridescent light, pulling the sky into her depths.
Yesterday brought this today. Today, there is quiet. Peace.
I have promised the boys we will go sledding some time today. I see the light of Christmas shine on their sleepy faces. This coming week we will give Penny to her new home and I try not to cry when I think about it. I watch the diamonds that are hidden in the snow. The trees are heavy-laden and wear lace shawls. There is no sound but a quiet dripping.
Heavy white hushes the sound of the living. But there is this—this whisper of creation. The earth has been given a new robe and we, the beneficiaries.

Fun Friday: Holiday

Today the rain falls and I am filled with expectation.

There is talk of snow on the way.

This quiet hope, this swelling joy reminds me of something Matthew Kelty writes:

When rain turns to ice and snow I declare a holiday. I could as easily resist as stay at a desk with a parade going by in the street below. I cannot hide the delight that then possesses my heart. Only God could have surprised rain with such a change of dress as ice and snow…
Most people love rain, water. Snow charms all young hearts. Only when you get older and bones begin to feel dampness, when snow becomes a traffic problem and a burden in the driveway, when wet means dirt–then the poetry takes flight and God’s love play is not noted.
But I am still a child and have no desire to take on the ways of death. I shall continue to heed water’s invitation, the call of the rain. We are in love and lovers are a little mad. The season of love is soon over; one is young but once…

I’m declaring a holiday today, friends.

Rejoice!

There is evidence of His presence all around. God leaves footprints in the snow. He walks among us.

And I am transformed from child to lover…waiting by the window for my Beloved. Yes, lovers are a little mad.

Ain’t it grand?