While winter is always long in Minnesota, this years seems to be particularly long. Today it’s snowing, again. The weatherman cheerfully reports that it will continue through the night and into tomorrow, promising us an accumulation of six to eight inches.
Now that’s not big news for us—it mostly makes for a messy commute for those heading to and from their place of employment.
I, for one, am tired of the cold and snow. I’ve lost track of how many books I’ve read and how many crossword and suduko puzzles I’ve conquered; I’m running out of ideas for keeping myself entertained and sane. My part-time job as a Welcome greeter for new people in town has been exceedingly slow. Who wants to move to Minnesota in the middle of winter?
Now those of you who are serious writers, would love to have that kind of time to produce a substantial amount of written work. You’re probably envious of me and wonder what I’m whining about. My only excuse is the winter doldrums that has kept me firmly in its grip for much of January.
Tomorrow is the first of February—a short month with only twenty-eight days. Then twenty more days and it will be the first day of spring! At least, according to the calendar. Spring doesn’t really arrive here until well into April and sometimes later.
This all makes me wonder why we’re not snowbirds, like so many other Minnesotans who are retired. That’s part of the problem—my husband isn’t retired, and has no immediate plans to do so. Also, he likes winter. The best I can come with is that a new snowfall makes the countryside beautiful, all fresh and clean again. There’s nothing so lovely as hoarfrost clinging to the branches and twigs of the bare trees. It even beautifies the scrubby bushes that aren’t covered over by the snow.
A few years ago, God sent me a colorful reminder of his love and presence in the midst of the grayness of winter—a beautiful male cardinal landed in one of the trees outside my dining room window.
This is what I wrote at that time. “My spirit lifts as I’m reminded all is not dead in the world around me on this frozen winter morning. Nature is resting and storing up strength for her promised return. Relentless activity must cease for a time so I may focus on God. Spending time in his presence brings peace to the soul and renews my spirit. Seasons of time, and seasons of life, cycle according to his plan. Our time on earth will one day pass away and eternal life will be our reality. Our spirit will join with God’s Spirit and inexplicable joy will encompass our soul, as earthly time dims in our memory. Thank you, Lord, for colorful reminders on days like today of all you have in store for us.”
Guess it’s time I take that reminder to heart again!