My friend pastor and jazz pianist Bill Carter wrote an evocative composition called “The Consolation of Snow.” I don’t know that Bill and I ever talked about what was consoling about snow. After hearing the piece, no words were necessary. B0004636.JPG

When I ran across this photo, it reminded me of the quiet peace that the cover of snow brings. Apart from the pesky inconveniences that come from snowfalls, and notwithstanding the dangers of icy roads and slippery sidewalks, there is most certainly a quiet beauty that surrounds the neighborhood when a fresh blanket of snow cloaks the winter landscape.

Here in our part of the northeast we missed that gift this year. We had a inch here, maybe as much as two one day. But we never got that heavy storm that kept us from work or school, that gave us an excuse to retreat from daily routines, to get cozy inside while the snow fell (or blew), and then to bundle up, boot up, and enter the scene pictured here.

The snowy cover muffles the everyday sounds of the neighborhood. Other than the occasional plow, there’s little traffic to interrupt the serenity of a walk down the road. It’s just very quiet. And peaceful. Full of peace. Just what we need.  I say again: peace and quiet.

When snow falls in abundance, things stop. So do we. That forced rest is healthy for us. And, yes, consoling.

That common phrase “a blanket of snow” is ambiguous, isn’t it? Blankets are for warmth, and snow is, well, freezing. So we can think of that other meaning attached to blanket: it is a comforter. Whether it is a child’s security blanket (think Linus) or an adult’s heavy cover against the chills of a cold house, it does calm and compose us enwrapped in its snugness.

Freshly fallen snow, maybe a foot or more, calms and composes too. Stop thinking frigid! Stop those negative thoughts about shoveling, plowing, slogging, and the ugly melting that will inevitably come. Please turn your thoughts to that quiet and that peace amidst the beauty of a white thick insulating blanket over the yard. Imagine the warmth of layers for protection, bundled up, and see yourself walking in silence, then just stopping in your tracks and listening to the quiet.

Those seasons of tranquility contribute to our deepest humanity. If we do not find those times, or if they do not find us, how sad. Lord, have mercy.

Do we not crave respite from political noisemakers, haunting headlines, and nettling newscasters? This just in: peace be with you…

Without the peace that comes with the snowfall, we will just have to carve out some small “peaces” that allow us time to breathe, sense the Spirit’s gentle touch, savor the silence, and find refreshment in the quiet, consoling corners of our lives.

If we cannot, or will not, make room for such peace, then I will pray for snow! Lots of it.

 

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