It is a year since we moved here to Launde Abbey and all I can remember is warm sunshine, carpets of flowers and the anticipation of spring. By contrast this year we have been grappling with snow, blocked roads, and winter hanging on.
While I’m glad that our move didn’t have to contend with such adverse weather and it has been testing to be cut off here around five times this winter, I’ve tried to challenge myself not just to see snow as an inconvenience and disruption to our everyday lives, and look for the blessings. So I offer you the ten blessings of snow….
- Everything looks beautiful. There is a transfiguration of the world around us as all things become white and shine with a dazzling brightness.
- It is indiscriminate in its transforming power. The ugliest building or mess is touched equally as the most beautiful landscape. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”
- There is a disarming silence – the busy world is hushed. More than just the absence of traffic, there is a dampening of noise and an arresting stillness that awakes an inner attentiveness.
- We are humbled by its abundance and power. “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow?” the Lord asks Job. It inspires awe at the natural world.
- Everyone has to slow down. Driving has to measured and steady, footsteps carefully taken, journeys take their time. We cannot rush.
- It makes us prepare. We may not be able to get to the shops, or the delivery van may not get through. Instant availability gives way to anticipation and patient waiting. I’m glad we bought a four wheel drive.
- It creates community. We need each other, to look out for the vulnerable, to push the car, to dispel anxiety by companionship and reassurance.
- We remember to play. We build the snowman, fetch out the sledge or throw a snowball at the boss.
- We are grateful for the little things that we can so easily take for granted – the warming cup of tea, the thoughtful neighbour, the radio or television.
- It melts. It doesn’t last for ever, and usually quite soon the colours of things re-emerge, the daily routine is recovered and life returns to normal…. Or at least a normality that has been touched and even changed by the ten blessings of snow.