By noon, we were already cracking jokes about weathermen who always get it wrong. As we looked up at the sky, the foot of snow they were predicting seemed impossible. And then, like God heard our jokes, the snow began to fall.
The flakes were big and fluffy— about the size of a dime, we guessed. Within the hour, we’d quickly finished up our errands and hurried home. We snuggled under a blanket with hot chocolate and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. We were starting to think the weatherman had been right all along.
By sunset, my husband had already been out to shovel once and those big flakes were still falling. An hour later, while I was cooking dinner, a neighbor knocked on the door to remind us to move our car to make room for the snowplows. Then I bundled up my daughter and sent her outside with my husband, as he shoveled for the second time. I snapped a few dark and blurry pictures from the front porch.
We laughed as my daughter fell down (about every third step!) in the heavy, Midwestern snow. We waved to the teenagers as they went door-to-door, offering to help with shoveling. My husband chatted with the neighbor who brought his snowblower from around the corner. It had been over a month since we’d seen him. You could almost feel the excitement buzzing off the neighbor kids as they ran down the block.
“Do you think we’ll get a snow day tomorrow?”
It wasn’t a totally perfect picture- my daughter lost a glove and my husband got an earful from another neighbor who thought it “too cold” for our preschooler to be playing outside. But there was something magical about that first snowfall. Something about the sparkle of the fresh snow and seeing neighbors out in the neighborhood again reminded me that winter does not always have to be about hibernation.
I was reminded that God is always looking for ways to speak to us. Even in the darkest and coldest of seasons, there is a message. There might even be something to celebrate- the school kids did get their snow day after all.
I thought about a few friends from seminary, brought there after experiencing unfathomable tragedy and turning their pain into meaningful ministry. I thought about the people I know who’ve found significant work and purpose after retirement, the supposed “winter season” of their lives. The truth I know in my heart is that God’s work in and through us is never done, even in winter.
Kelsey Hart is a friend and contributor to Celtic Way.