– Monday Muse –
Dear One, do April snowstorms bring May flowers? Perhaps they do, perhaps they don’t, but May flowers will come – for we have some abundant flowering baskets ordered. Heh, heh. There is almost always a way to bring beauty, harmony, and peace into one’s life. Sometimes, it is just a matter of accepting what is, and making the most of it…like taking a walk on April 16th in the aftermath of a spring blizzard.
Almost everyone here, it seems, in lower north-western Michigan is grumbling. One man says that he has ‘four times’ put his snow-blower a way for the very last time. As I write, my husband is snow-blowing.
Yesterday, in an Oscar-of-Sesame-Street-tone, he stated that he would not blow snow again until next winter. “This snow will get warm and just melt away.” But this morning, after walking to the end of the driveway for the newspaper, he realized that it would be impossible to get the sedan from the garage to the road. He grumbled again. His grumbling, the neighbor’s grumbling, the grumbling from the radio station, and the grumbling from those in town, seemed to be culminating into something similar to a distant thundering rumble.
When I began my two-mile walk the snow had stopped falling, but plotting a course was not easy. The road hadn’t been plowed. I had to keep watch for the widest tire track to walk within, sometime choosing to walk in deep snow, because the track was too slippery.
The wind had temporarily stopped blowing. So I exited the house to absolute quiet, the kind of quiet which is only found in windless, snow-covered landscapes. It was slow going, and difficult. For the terrain was uneven. I had to carefully choose each footfall. Yet the challenge was invigorating, and strengthening, which I needed. Very quickly, I nearly wore out. I thought about turning around, but didn’t. A neighbor driving by, stopped to inform me that the road ahead was worse, and that if I needed to I could stop by his house. As tired as I already was, I thought that I just might have to do that.
I continued on, over the distance of my neighbor’s concern. When I turned to retrace my steps for home, snow was blowing sideways across an open field. I battened-down the hatches, closed my jacket to my chin, pulled the sleeves over my gloves, and tightened the flaps on my husband’s monstrous cap.
The difficult trudging made me think of my dad’s long marches which he endured when he was a soldier in Germany during the Second World War. Being in the infantry, he was often on the move. He told us kids that the men were given only two-pair of wool socks. The pair that Dad wore the day before, dried the next day against his chest. The pair he was wearing that day dried against his chest the next day. Each morning he was grateful for two things, being alive, and dry socks.
Exhausted on my return, I could envision, like never before, my father’s trek over enemy territory. I remember him saying that he always kept watch for a makeshift foxhole, a ditch or low spot, for use during an ambush. He had to be alert, always ready to engage the enemy.
Like him, I too had to be alert on my trek, but oh for such vastly different reasons. He, for the saving of life and country, and me – so that I wouldn’t fall down in the snow, that in all likelihood would have cushioned my fall. Oh my, when life is easy, it seems it makes it easier to grumble…grumble about the abundance of snow, grumble about having to snow blow, grumble about a late spring, grumble, grumble, grumble…creating a distant rumbling sound of more trouble to come.
It seems we in lower north-western Michigan could take a lesson from those who live life as if they are grateful to have a dry pair of socks – every morning. For one thing for sure, we are still alive.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one
body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
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