There is something calming and exciting about a snowy morning. When the kids were, well kids, they would get so excited about forecast of a snowy morning. Maybe it would allow them to sleep in if there was a delay. Or, better yet, maybe school would be canceled and there would be an impromptu vacation day.
When the kids were all grown and on their own I finally found out how my wife Michelle really felt about snow days. She used to be able to just leave the hoping up to the children, but with them all graduated and her still teaching, she took up the “snow day chant”. And, if it had been a particularly stressful stretch, she sometimes even broke into her “snow day dance”.
I have always liked snow days. Now, as a retired adult, I enjoy them even more. This morning I was pleased that not only had good snow fallen during the night as predicted, it was still snowing hard when I looked out the patio door. The flakes were heavy as they streaked almost straight downward even though I could see that the wind was tossing the branches around as if the trees were trying to shake off their new white blankets. They weren’t succeeding however, as the wet snow stuck tightly to every branch.
The birds were enjoying the fact that the feeders had been refilled ahead of the snowfall. Two male cardinals and a female perched in the birch tree like the cover of a Christmas card. A downy woodpecker pecked at the suet cake while the seed feeder was almost hidden under a constant blur of chickadee, finch and junco wings. A blue jay, belly deep in the new snow, cocked his head this way and that as he waited for seeds spilled by the smaller birds above.
“Coffee” I thought, “this morning needs coffee.” The cup warms the palms of my hands; the aroma steaming from the cup helps open my eyes and the taste goes good with the view outside.
Even clearing the snow was a pleasurable part of the morning. The wind was not biting and the temperature was just below freezing. Honest work is holy. Stomping the snow from my boots before entering the house takes me back to childhood. Dry socks and a worn but still warm wool sweater are like a hug from a loved one.
I build a fire in the hearth. The flames build up slowly, but soon the crackling sound assures me that the fire has caught. The fire warms me like friendship. Who can look upon a fire and not feel welcome? The flames dance and the embers begin to build and glow. Fire, like running water, and a gusting breeze seems almost alive as it sings softly to my senses. invites me to draw close, settle in, maybe grab a good book, and certainly to dream for a while.
Like a young child, I am still grateful for snow days.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Hoarfrost and snow, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. Daniel 3:9-10