The “winter-cane” was upon us. The wind, howling at over 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 80 miles per hour, rattled the windows of our house. It blew the snow sideways. When the persistent, slow moving storm finally moved out to sea, we were left with 2-1/2 feet of snow and drifts that exceeded 5 feet in height. It took a Bobcat to shovel us out. And yet, it was also beautiful. It turned our heavily wooded acre of land into a winter wonderland. It was so peaceful. So quiet.
In this little corner of God’s earth, the weather is a hot topic of conversation. Flip on the 6 o’clock news and keep track of how much time is devoted to hysterical weather people hyping the latest forecast. All the really important news of the day plays second fiddle to it.
We can get ready for a blizzard, but we cannot stop it from dumping snow upon us. On Cape Cod, our lack of control of Mother Nature is complicated by our inability to forecast her whims. If there is the slightest shift in the direction of the winds blowing off the water, meteorologists tell us that the weather can change quickly. The Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound certainly qualify as a major body of water. Therefore, Cape Codders should probably only worry about the weather one day at a time.
And yet, after the end of football season, what else do we have to fret about? For those who love winter (Not me!!!) and cannot wait to get out onto the ski slopes, obsessing over snow fall totals is a fulfilling way to occupy some time. Those who don’t like the cold season can study the long-range forecasts in search for evidence of an early spring. Both are a waste of time, but in my mind, during the dark days of winter, time is a wonderful thing to waste.
Which brings me back to last week’s “winter-cane.” There is no question that the Cape was impacted by a very nasty storm. Within a couple of days, however, the streets were plowed and life returned to normal. The over-hyped, “blizzard-like-no-other” turned out to be a “snow-storm-just-like many others.”
Immediately after the winter-cane, I began tracking the next major storm. It arrived today. The forecast started at 8-12” of snow and then declined from 4-8” to 2-4” to 1-2”. The reality, however, is that it is raining! A slushy mix of ice and snow layers the streets and dark puddles hide tire-shredding potholes. It’s lovely! Schools are closed, but I am at work. There is no rest for the wicked.
Today’s stinky weather caused me to think back to last week. I’ll take the light and fluffy 2-1/2 feet of snow over today’s mix of ice and rain, but even more, I’ll gladly take two more snow days so my world can come to an abrupt halt. I need to hit my “pause” button. Last week, there was nothing to do, but to spend some time with myself. I re-introduced myself to ME. I don’t always like ME. I am often too harsh a judge of ME, but last week I made a decision to like ME!
The greatest gift from the Divine One is that ME is loved with a love that will not let ME go. If God thinks ME is OK, ME must be OK, don’t you think? And, obviously, if God likes ME, God must like YOU too! Even if it arrives via a “winter-cane,” we could all use another day of peace and quiet to remind ourselves to like ME, which may be as good a reason as any to continue to waste a little time checking the long-range forecast.
John Holt, February, 2015