We are deep into February as I write and slogging our way through the gray slush of late winter. Is anyone else out there wresting winter-weariness now?
I know I celebrated the first snowfall. I pined for cozy evenings with the family by the fireside. I was thinking warm winter thoughts of soups and breads and the scent of burning wood on the cold winter air—but all that was before Christmas. I’m so over that now. Now I’m longing for long evenings out on the porch sipping lemonade. I’m longing to listen to crickets on warm spring nights. I’m looking forward to taking Hazard on long walks along the Lower Huron. I can tell by looking at him that he is struggling with cabin-fever and tired of fetching the little plastic toys we throw into the other room. We both need some air in our lungs… warm, spring air. We long for the smell of the earth and the touch of fragrant spring breeze in our hair.
Lois and I took in a nice movie the other night. The story was set in a warm and beautiful place where spring comes early and summer lingers long. When the movie ended I went for the car. A cold wind was blowing across the lot. I turned up my collar against the cold and ran to the car. I drove around the parking lot until some warmth was coming from under the dash. I picked up Lois and we drove home. All I could think about was getting home to our warm little house and getting a good night’s rest between soft flannel sheets.
We pulled off the Interstate onto a country road and drove along quietly for while. Lois broke the silence; “I love to see the moonlight on the snow like that. It’s so pretty.”
I hadn’t seen the moon and I didn’t really want the snow.
“Look how bright it is,” She said. “Isn’t it beautiful?”
“It is,” I mumbled and felt a pang of guilt that I had not noticed it first. That night all I could feel was the cold, gray ugliness of winter in my bones. Lois noticed the moonlight on the snow. I did a little research and discovered there is a name for the February moon. They call it the Snow Moon.
The Apostle Paul wrote this in his letter to the Philippians: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
I don’t know what the weather was like in Philippi, but the tendency to slog through life without looking up must transcend time and culture. You don’t have to look hard to find ugly things in the world. They are everywhere. Paul had the right idea. Don’t let the ugliness overwhelm you, but cultivate an eye for things that are good and noble and pure and right and true and virtuous and beautiful, like the moonlight on the snow and someone to notice it with you.
March 4, 2013