Sunday, February 12, 2006

Winter's welcome silence

February Snowstorm (c) DbyrdSo it came - the blizzard of '06. This is what my front yard looked like Sunday morning. There was about an 8" snow-fro on everything in my back yard and the birds were chirping that they could not get to the feeder.

I even had to dig a path for the dog because when he tried to go out he sank neck deep in the snow. But the winter morning, with no one on the roads - and only a few jets flying into Dulles - offered a welcome relief from the noise, hurry, and crowds that make up most of life here in Metro DC.

I was awakened (after spending a fitful night coughing from a cold I have been trying to ignore) by a phone tree from a church we don't even attend. It said because of the snowstorm they were not having services. Good. At least they had the common sense to call things off. I didn't care what was happening outside my neighborhood, unless there was a national emergency that required evacuation, I wasn't planning to go anywhere. But it's good to know they thought of their congregation's safety.

As I said, I had to shovel a path for the dog. And it was still snowing a little, but the stuff moved pretty easily since it has not frozen as I write this. But it offered a time of quiet, a time when I didn't have to listen to other people trying to tell me things, or get me to buy (pizza, cars, hamburgers, Victoria's secret undies or a new mortgage). It made me wonder what it was like before all these "conveniences" extruded us into their mold. What was it like to walk near my house 100 years ago? But I will try to catch snatches of silence when I can.

It also reminded me of the co-worked who said "Ah, this storm will be nothing" as I left work yesterday.

"Oh no, you wait," I said. "It's coming." And it did. And it brought silence and stillness with it. If only for a while.

"In the silence of God we have overcome magic by seeing through what is not there and realizing that He Who IS, is closer to us than the "is not" that tries at all times to place itself between ourselves and Him." (Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude).

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