I’ve come to really dislike snow. It’s cold and it’s wet which are my two least favorite things, but mostly it’s really inconvenient and tends to mess up my plans. Then there is the tension, the ghosts of snowfalls past, memories of being stranded and of sliding off the road. Once after a long trip we almost made it home, only to be confronted by half a dozen cars all askew and blocking the road. We got stranded for 8 hours just a few miles from home.
Once after a school event it snowed so much, we couldn’t get the car out of its parking spot and unfortunately we were all dressed up, so warm, but not warm enough for hiking home. We hobbled about two blocks and stopped for hot chocolate. Two more blocks and more thawing. It took us about 3 hours.
For the most part this is a rather temperate area but it can get surprisingly cold very fast. Many people who move here find me funny, I’ve always got blankets and water in the car, and my eyes peeled to the sky. Snow PTSD, ghosts of snowfalls past that have caught me unaware. It’s different if you’ve got snow plows and the roads are sanded and people are sensible about these things. Ironically it’s probably easier to get to the mountains and go skiing than it is to traverse a few miles around my house.
Hubby doesn’t like snow much either. I pick up on that when he’s dripping sarcasm while saying, “but it’s so pretty!” He’s good to have around when it snows, he can drive in anything. When the kids were small he used to give them rides on his four-wheeler. He loves to slide around.
I’ve had a snowflake tormenting me all week, just one, probably the same one just stalking me like a piece of dandelion fuzz. I pulled into work and on the side of the road there was a whole pile of snow, which sent my heart flip-flopping. Turns out the veggie truck had just stopped to dump his ice. Very funny, because before I managed to solve the riddle, anxiety and panic were going on in my body. Instincts, those are tough things to seize control of. We can have a visceral response to something based on faulty information and you don’t even see it coming.
It’s totally a bad snow attitude, just murmuring and lamenting about something quite lovely that God made for us. I actually apologized in prayer this morning for being so impolite about the snow, for not viewing it as a gift. Change my perspective, Lord.
God can be so fast answering prayers sometimes. When I got to the grocery store I ran into a young dad, looking woefully out the window and saying, “I really hope it snows.” Naturally I said, “Whatever for? Can’t you go to the mountains and see the snow?” He told me he had a daughter, two now, and he just wanted to see her face when she got to experience her first snow, everything familiar and known to her now magically transformed into a winter wonderland. The look in her eyes when she sees the whole world blanketed in love would be so neat to see and to experience with her.
The poor guy made himself uncomfortable, he’s a guy of few words caught by surprise by his sweet little soliloquy about daughters and love and the wonder of snow, so I fought my tears so as not to make his discomfort worse, but I knew immediately those words he spoke were actually meant for me.
I had forgotten the beauty of a Father’s love and the magic of snow, the expectancy and excitement of advent.