No sooner had I posted a YouTube video on Facebook for Sarah Maclachlan’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River” than it seemed I might get my wish.
It was reported that Friday’s snowfall in the deep south was the heaviest in 35 years.
It was beautiful.
I love to write, and I love words, but I struggle to describe just how enchanting this day was in this place. Not just in my physical location, but in this place in my life.
I absolutely marveled at how stunning my familiar landscape looked, covered in its blanket of white.
I’ve seen big snow. Growing up in western Oklahoma, I saw my fair share of blizzard conditions. Played in actual snow drifts.
But it was different then.
For one, it was a normal occurrence.
For two, I was a young child. And I cared more about playing in it than in the beauty of it.
I used to follow a blog written by a woman in Wisconsin. Their winters are notoriously long. She hated them. She lived for warm, sunny days. She tried to get to a southern beach at least once a year. It was obvious that she really loathed winter weather.
In contrast, I’m not a “summer girl”. There’s a lot that I love about it, but I’ve always been partial to sweaters, fireplaces, boots, blankets, books, and warm beverages over anything summer related.
Whether you’re a summer person or a winter person, I think we simply delight in the unexpected arrival of a day that looks and feels like a gift.
For a lot of people in Mississippi, Friday was the gift of an early white Christmas. Something we tend to fantasize about.
It was an unanticipated moment of beauty. It transformed the familiar into something different, and made things stand out that normally blur into the background of my observation.
I wonder if summer people, like the blogger in Wisconsin, feel the same way when their snow starts melting? Like all that has been buried is free and brought into the light and warmth of a new season?
I guess we all tend to, on occasion, be dissatisfied with our own surroundings.
Still, I think I’d like a long winter.
More than one snowfall.
Repeat performances of the pure, fresh, untouched perfection that is a snow covered landscape.
I had to work on Friday, and didn’t get many photos at all. I did manage to snap this one though. I think it’s the prettiest church in one of my nearby towns. It’s always stood out to me, just because it’s so different on a sunny day. The snow definitely dressed it up.
We had a skeleton crew on Friday, but I don’t think our business would close for the apocalypse itself, so I just showed up and made myself useful where I could.
I haven’t helped count a vault or played bookkeeper/receptionist in many years, but it’s pretty much like riding a bike. We had 2 tellers manning our drive-thru and I never heard either of them complain one single time. One of our newest and youngest officers braved the cold and brought us lunch, helped me answer the phone, and drove as far as I did to make sure he was there to help.
The other officer had to leave to check on livestock, but came back, drenched in snow, to offer to drive our head teller home.
I love the way we all just made the best of the non-ideal working conditions.
And, I love that we were able to hold down our fort for those who couldn’t be there.
We had 2 that were spending final moments with their father. He passed away later that evening.
We had some that were already scheduled for vacation time.
We had some that have been dealing with sickness and flu all week.
We had some on maternity leave.
And even if we had some that played hookey, just because it was a snow day, I don’t blame them.
Especially if you have young children or grandchildren.
If I haven’t learned anything else, I do know that life is unexpected and short and you have to make every moment count. So if my showing up on Friday made it easier on the crew we had, and gave someone else the opportunity to build a snowman with their child or grandchild, I was happy to do it.
My heart got what it needed, just by seeing the wonder of a postcard perfect winter across the forests and pastures and buildings that make up this place that I call “home”.
Now the snow is melted. And we might not see any more, especially to this degree, for another generation.
But we have the memory. And sometimes that has to be enough to sustain us, until we see our heart’s desire again.