Friday, August 22, 2008
It's a predicament. I live in Michigan. At one point, our state motto was "Michigan, the winter water wonderland". Wonderland? Yes, but I now "wonder" how I am going to make it through another unending Michigan winterland.
The length of winter, the deep, brittle cold, the abbreviated days, these are at the center of my despair. Winter brings horse chores in thigh high snowdrifts, with it's frozen water tanks and water lines, frozen fingers and frozen toes. It's the ice storms, the freezing rain blowing sideways, black ice, slush that sucks at your tires and tries to pull your car off the road. The deep wind-blown drifts on the highways, the.... yikes! What an absurd preoccupation with the coming horrors of winter. This has got to stop, it's still August!
I can't change where I live, I'm a Michigan girl and this is home. It's obvious wishful thinking won't change anything, or the North would be in the South. The only thing I can change is my perspective. To do that, I need to see the Creator in this picture.
As I ponder the seasons, my first thought is how graceful God is. He doesn't just slap us in the face with winter the day after Labor Day. He brings the change slowly. First he cools the air, making it brisk and refreshing; it leaves me feeling invigorated and full of anticipation. Next, he plasters color everywhere. There is no way to ignore his invitation to come outside. Trees and plants turn golden, orange, red. Leaves fall and crunch underfoot. Apple orchards yield their harvest, pumpkin patches are full. The bugs die down and it's perfect weather for trail-riding. Family and friends gather for bonfires, football games, hay rides. I can't believe I forgot about Autumn, I LOVE Autumn.
And what about the holidays, Thanksgiving with Christmas right on it's heels? I cannot imagine Christmas without snow. I love tromping through the drifts to find the perfect tree. As a child, I considered Southerners deprived at the Yuletide; I could never Christmas shop in shorts. I still feel cheated if I wake up to a green Christmas morning. Apparently, I look forward to the snow. Confusing isn't it?
Well, it's not that I hate snow, I love the stuff. I love how it sparkles in the sun like it's filled with hidden diamonds. I'm amazed that each snowflake is intricate and unique. I like snowball fights and snowmen and coming into the house to a roaring fire and hot chocolate. I love to gaze out my living room window when it's snowing really hard. I feel like I'm inside a snow globe that has been shaken. I like the crunch of new snow under my boots and walking in the dogs tracks down to the barn. I love furry horses with frosty whiskers. When they call out to me, I can see their whinnies in the air.
I love woolly sweaters and fleecy robes. Cute hats with matching gloves and big scarves. I love laying on my back in the snow at twilight, while snowflakes land on my face. I like... well, I guess I like winter. Remind of this in February, will you?