Saturday, February 11, 2012

The snow that wasn't

The 2012 Farmer's Almanac predicted a snowy winter for my part of New England. There even was supposed to be a blizzard January 30-31.

So far, we have had a couple of inches before January, and since then, nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Rien.

Most of the people I know are delighted. From an economic point of view, I am delighted for the congregation I serve. The 2010-2011 snow season was backbreaking financially.

And then we were forecast 2-4 inches overnight last night into today, one day when I didn't want snow, because there's a woman in hospital I needed to visit, and a memorial service some way north of here off the Merritt, and travel would be dicey.

I should not have fretted. This was the non-snow event of the season - a dusting when we awoke, that melted away by dawn, and a snowfall that continued for a few hours and left no sign of its coming.

I know why most people don't want snow. Most people have no sympathy with this need my soul has for snow days, snow days that shut everything down.

Lent is coming. Only a week and a half away. I'm deep into planning for study/prayer/reflection opportunities for the parish and community at the church I serve. My greatest hope is that in whatever I plan, for myself as well as for others, it will do what a good snow does for me, the kind I wake up to with the ground and roads covered and keeps on going all through the daytime hours until dark when I can see it no longer.

That kind of saturation of gentleness and peace, cold that blankets, and edged with danger, or maybe just challenge. Something that stops us in our tracks, making us rethink what is important, what is necessary, and what can be let go of, or changed to meet the situation. That's what I look for in Lent.

Maybe a Sunday morning before church forum with guests that stay with us through worship - Family and Children's Agency, New Day Center for day laborers, English as a Second Language literacy volunteers, Voices of the Faithful, the Open Doors Shelter - things like that, things that would challenge us to engage the community and even make us uncomfortable.

Wednesday night soup suppers with a dvd "Walking the Bible" - not a travelogue alone, but a surprising spiritual journey that asks questions, like "What if the creation story is some sort of race memory of when we humans left off being hunter gatherers and became farmers? If the Bible is not science, is it enough? If you give up looking for factual proof, what then are you looking for?" (And, by the way, can you shift from calling Canaan "KAY' - nin" and call it "cuh-NAHN' "?)

I shall make the plans, with some consultation. And I also will remember this: In New England, the longer the real snow holds off, the greater the possibility that it will all come at that time of year when you have the most plans to be interrupted - LENT!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I love the silence of snow; the feeling of everything being pure and innocent in that silence; hope.