Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some Thoughts on Snow Day

We’ve been going Medieval for the past couple of days.

Of course, we never believe the weatherman when he says it’s going to snow in Georgia. There have been far too many devastating disappointments in our collective pasts. Far too many little flakes that disappeared before morning’s light, turning a possible glorious Snow Day into just another boring School Day. (One with a quiz, most likely, to add insult to injury.)

So when they talked of snow coming on Sunday, we thought, "Yeah, yeah...maybe in Dahlonega or Brasstown Bald. It never sticks in Athens.”

It looked like Narnia by Sunday afternoon.

Jay’s mom Mary Ruth has been doing the nanny shift, so I’m in Georgia now, trying to finish some of the things I left undone last April 21. The “to-do” list is staggering...exhausting. Life here is much more complicated because there are so many choices and players and jigsaw pieces that won’t fit. Life in California is tough, but simple.

So... I was secretly elated by that beautiful blanket of white stillness that brought everything to a screeching halt. I acted like a child, running out in my fancy high-heeled ‘church’ boots to take too many pictures. Our visiting niece from Connecticut thought I was nuts. This is the kind of weather she is trying to escape, moving ever further south of the Mason Dixon line in her educational pursuits. (She was down here checking out Emory and UGA law schools.)

But after a while, Liz admitted that this was a heck of a snowstorm, even by Connecticut standards. So we raided her cousins’ abandoned closets and the old ski clothes box for warm castoffs, and ventured out into the icy beauty of it all...until breaking limbs started splintering off of trees with explosive cracks. Then we high-tailed it back to the warmth of fake logs, real fire. The power had gone off in our absence.

No light. No noise. No TV, CD’s, DVD’s, internet, radio. No oven, range top, microwave. Just quiet and dark. And the gas logs.

For that night and the next.

We lit every candle we could find and huddled around the fireplace, while Brooks found something to grill out in the still-cascading snow. We read by candlelight.

It was beautiful.

Eventually, the cell phones died along with the cordless house phones, so communication with the outside world was curtailed. Many of our friends knew about Katherine’s latest Caringbridge entry before we did.

But that was okay.

Why are we so afraid of quiet and stillness?

It is only then that we can hear the still, small voice.


silken snow
spills from the sky
like salt sprinkled
from celestial shaker

crystalline purity
pours over dark, dank earth,
covering the rankness
of rotting leaves and dirt
like soothing salve
on a bloody hurt

through the quiet,
a loud crack-
as another tree falls
from the terrible
unbearable weight
of it all

then, like a kiss,
not a slap,
a fluffy flake
stings my frozen face:

scarlet sins
completely covered
by pure white


"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...” (Isaiah 1:18)


Karen said...

I loved this post! What a great line- "It looked like Narnia by Sunday afternoon." I read somewhere,
The only thing whiter than snow is a forgiven sinner. Doesn't that make you want to shout?

Thank you Jesus!

I'm glad you got snow, and lost your power, the poetry alone was worth it.

tatiana said...

amazin' poem.... just amazin'....