I love weather. I grew up in the desert. It was hot when the sun was up and cold when it wasn’t. At least in fall and spring. In summer it was hot around the clock, you just couldn’t get a sunburn between 930pm and 430am. That was not what I call weather, it was stasis. Weather changes the world around you, if only temporarily.
My first memory of snow, all of us kids had the chicken pox and couldn’t go outside. My mom scrubbed the dustpan and went outside to fill mixing bowls with snow. It didn’t last long, but we had a snowball fight in the kitchen. It was the only snow we got that winter, and it was another five years before I saw snow again. We got really good at throwing on clothes when the early morning call came. Mom would get up at 5am to get Dad off to work, if it was snowing she would rouse us kids. We ate snow, made mini snowmen and had our snow fights in the pre-dawn light. Mom would start hot cocoa and sourdough pancakes as the sun came over the horizon, a real treat midweek. By the time the sun was fully up, the snow was gone, not leaving enough moisture for to muddy our boots.
I didn’t see the miracle of snow until years later, when I moved to the Pacific Northwest. You almost have to live in an suburban or rural area to see it, otherwise man’s impatience obliterates it. Some day, early in the morning after the snow has been falling all night, step out on a front porch and appreciate the beauty. An ice storm hit my city the winter after I graduated high school. It shut down the city and most of the town was out of power. The snow was so deep that it obliterated the visual signs of seperation that man erects. Fences and shrubs were covered in snow, roads were melded into fronyards. The visual effect drew the neighborhood together, the houses that seemed so far away across the street were nearly close enough to touch. The neighbors who never saw each other stopped to talk as they dug out their front walks. I knew that the elderly ladies an either side of me were not able to dig themselves out, but I never spoke to them until that winter when they stepped out to thank me for clearing their walkways.
I have since learned to dread the snow, but only because it cannot be trained to stay off the roadways that I have to traverse. I dread the treachery of sharing the road with overconfident drivers who don’t take the conditions as seriously as I wish they would, but when I have the opportunity just sit in amazement at the beauty of this great equalizer, I am in awe.
Here is a challange, to any who are willing to take it: next time the skies open up on you, step back from the automatic frustration that comes and see the beauty. Rain brings you closer to those around you, it insulates the feeling of camradarie in your group and gives you the opportunity to share your shelter with a stranger and make a new friend. Is your true love just a rainstorm away? Is your lifelong best friend and confidant barred from you by a black strip of pavement and a couple of three foot fences? Take advantage of your next storm. Allow it to be the thing of beauty that it is. Even a natural disaster, a flood, a blizzard, a hurricane, an earthquake, you have a choice. It can be a devestation, or an opportunity to revive your life or, at the very least, a chance to bless someone elses life.
How has Mother nature inspired you?
Live fully. Laugh honestly. Love completely.