everything is buried in heavy white -- gigantic globs of gooey sugar, frosting every square inch of the outdoors. i'm at my usual morning post near the fireplace checking as one school after another closes. preschool closed. grade school closed. high school closed. and those children who should be sleeping in are instead whooping and hollering around the house like it's christmas morning. i shush them, attempting to send them all back to bed. they can sleep in. curl up with a good book. snuggle down under the weight of warm blankets and stay there for as long as they like. suddenly, we have nowhere to be. magically, we are homebound. pancakes, the only thing on our agenda. and it's bliss.
but they don't go back. because it's a snow day.
and who doesn't like a snow day?
who doesn't like to take a break in the middle of a busy week and be told, you must stay home and do nothing! we all need that kind of pause. it's more than just a day off of school, it's a gift to be grounded, at least on occasion.
in a few minutes i'll go into the kitchen and make chocolate chip or blackberry pancakes, pour another cup of coffee. i'll begin our day slow and quiet and soft (if i can get these kids back to their beds)! as i'm typing this post, i watch connor with face pressed up against the glass of backdoor. the snow is impressive. even after weathering a full winter here, it is still something to see. connor turns 10 this week, and we declare this snow day in honor of his birthday. double digits. i bet we are knee deep into the double digit inches of snow today, as well. it's a gift.
my thoughts could easily turn to the warm weather of the south. i know full well what march 5th feels like in atlanta. i remember many a first week in march playing or picnicking at the park...sweaty with spring heat. i can picture the yellow of daffodils and forsythia and the glorious sun. i could go there in my memory and emotion and feel the grumble begin hard in my gut -- if i let it. i won't let it though. my friend, carla, surprised me last week by leaving a pot of daffodils and some wheat seed and soil on my doorstep. it was such a sweet gesture. she knows winter is wearing long all of a sudden for this woman. those beautiful daffodils are on my kitchen counter this morning, sunnier than ever with the backdrop of pure white out the window. are they mocking me? it would be easy to imagine their sunny faces laughing at my winter wrinkled brow. but no. only if i let them. will they mock or will they encourage? the choice is mine. i've been taking a photography class this past month and recently we had an assignment on focus. focus changes everything, doesn't it?
so today we will probably sled or build snow forts or walk out on the frozen lake. again. we will slide our feet into boots which are looking like they've seen better days. we will pile on coats which thrilled us in their november newness, but which have now lost the novelty. we will locate our mismatched mittens and gloves...whatever we can find. we will make our 10 zillionth cup of hot chocolate and add our 10 zillionth log to the fire. and though winter in march can feel old and frayed and frustrating, we will do our best to keep our eyes on the yellow of kitchen-counter daffodils.
we will celebrate our snow day.
yes, this major snowfall, this march madness tells us that winter is long in minnesota. extremely long. we had heard about this very thing. we knew it. we now know it, firsthand. but we also know it is only a season. God has given us seasons in life and some certainly do feel longer than others. no matter where we live, no matter what our climate, we all live in the occasional long season of life. much of the length depends on what we are willing to see. daffodils or snowflakes. snow day gift or snow day grumble.
the boys are already outside.
it's time to go make those pancakes.
"for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." ~ ecclesiastes 3:1
by 10 am the boys had their tunnel built.
and not that we make these choices perfectly. i assure you we have also had our share of grumbling. just yesterday i put up this picture of protest on facebook. grumble. grumble. and today, my friend, peggy (who happens to live in minnesota, but winter in florida)! posted this youtube video "the minnesota song." on my facebook wall. sometimes we just have to choose to find some humor in it all.