Friday, December 19, 2008
Waiting for Advent Snow
If you're lucky enough to live in a place where there are four seasons, I suppose you're lucky enough.
For those of you who are 'lucky enough' to know what I'm talking about, I have a question: Have you ever noticed that something happens to the sky just before a snow storm arrives?
There is a bright blue stillness. The clouds become very white and heavy. Slowly, gradually, the sun goes in and the sky becomes filled with gray clouds. There is a steel grayness to everything which is accented by prolonged moments of an almost erie stillness.
Anticipation of the storm has already limited traffic.
The birds have fallen silent. There is no perceptible wind.
It's as if Someone is repeatedly saying, "Shhh . . . Wait . . . Shhhh . . . Wait."
And then, suddenly, at the precisely unpredictable moment when you've become weary of the wait and busy yourself with this and that, you look out the window and there it is . . . White, fluff pieces of the heavens, gracefully dancing in the gentle stillness.
It won't take long, however, for that gentle dance to become a white, whirling dervish, the large, fat flakes of wonder falling vigorously, almost violently, to the ground in a randomly precise pattern, falling where they are blown and yet exactly where they are supposed to be.
Something in me will not be able to resist the call to put on hat, coat, boots, gloves and scarf and run into the middle of it like a woman meeting her long lost lover.
I will turn my face up, right into the oncoming flakes, to feel their kisses covering my face with wild abandon.
Just as I did when I was a child, I will open my mouth and welcome a few flakes to fall on my tongue like pieces broken off a celestial wafer.
Oh, in no time at all, I'll be grinching and complaining about how I have to shovel it off my walk and driveway. I am human. Very human.
But it is now, now in the stillness.
Now in the gray quiet.
Now in the sweetness of anticipation.
Now in the memories.
Now in the mindless busyness of waiting.
Now in the expectation of the gift.
Now in the silence that has even hushed the birds from chirping their "O Antiphons."
Now in this suspended moment in time.
Now comes Advent.
Now. Now. Now.