It seems as if winter is gunning its engines in earnest now.
Soon the boots begin to take over the front hall, and the jaunty little hat that keeps off the chill will be replaced with the Nanook-wear that embarrasses even your adult children, and it will turn out that at some point between last March and now, somebody swiped the good scraper out of your trunk.
No talk of evening events for a few weeks — unless maybe it’s about catching the midnight flight to Bora-Bora.
It really is only a few weeks. Let’s make a pact to remind each other when necessary.
And we all know there really is a lot of beauty in these weeks, too. Let’s not forget that.
Every time I take the dog for a walk in winter, I can feel his delight. He porpoises through every snowbank, tumbles gleefully along the ice, strains at his leash like an Iditarod contender.
I don’t know what it is about winter, in particular, that animates him this way, but it seems as if the familiar, encountered in a stiff wind and coated in snow and ice, surprises him — and it’s his nature to be pleased by surprises.
It’s not so much ours, or anyway, mine. But I am the poorer for that, I know.
Maybe winter is a chance to try again. To feel a fuller creaturely delight in Creation.
Like it or not, we stand at the top of the steep ski jump into another year.
Where are you being called to find a fuller delight these days? What new thing might be seeking to embrace you?
After all these years, how might the most familiar parts of our lives turn out to be full of strange, new magic?
Whatever this winter holds for you and for me, may we always remember that God holds us in the palm of His hand.