It's well-known (and / well / documented) that I am no fan of the midwestern winter. Snow used to be a thing of wonder, a delightful occurrence, a reminder of the whimsy of the universe. But that was before I lived here, where snow comes and stays, where temperatures plummet below freezing in November and forget to rise until April. Things don't stop for snow in Chicago. Buildings don't close, people don't stay inside, and the term "snow-day" might as well be in a foreign language. Really, midwesterners are hardier (and crazier) even than they're portrayed.
So, when I returned from Virginia on Monday to find the first snow covering the ground, I groaned. Actually, I groaned, I griped, and I cursed my way all the way through Thursday afternoon. Seriously. Non-stop. It's not that the snow isn't lovely, or that the twinkling Christmas lights don't reflect magically off its shiny surface. I mean, the stuff is beautiful. BUT NOW IT WILL NEVER LEAVE. My toes will freeze, my skin will dry up, and I will be forced to walk like a penguin (so as not to bust my ass on the permanent and invisible layer of ice covering every ground surface) for the next one-half year.
We got in the van to come home yesterday afternoon and I groaned. And I griped. And I cursed all the way home about the snow. I had even resolved the day before to be optimistic about winter, having read a particularly timely column in the church newsletter about being grateful for seasonal changes and slowing down to match our schedules with nature's rhythms. Turns out I can't will my way to cheerfulness.
Then last night I listened to J's annual Christmas mix CD and discovered this Wintersong. I groaned and I griped, and then I cried. Without knowing I'd heard the song last night, Bekah sent me the video just now. She says it made her think of me (and, I'm sure, my groaning and griping and cursing). Watch, listen, and be reminded that though snow covers the ground and the earth lies frozen, it is still Advent. We are still waiting. And love is alive, even yet.