Thursday, February 28, 2008

Perspectives on Snow

Sleeping trees in falling snow, outside my office window.
It's snowing hard here this afternoon, but not sticking to the pavement, a sure sign that spring is on its way. Snow is such an ordinary thing in Minnesota, that we sometimes forget what a novelty it is to people who live in place where it rarely or never occurs. We often have sisters visiting from all over our congregation including California, Hawaii, and Peru. It is always quite fun to see how thrilled they are with the snow that is already on the ground, and their further delight when it starts to fall. One sister from Peru told me that until she came to the US she had never seen snow except in pictures. She said she thought it would make noise, like ice cubes falling from the sky. She was also quite distressed by the sight of the bare, leafless trees here the first time she visited in winter. She thought some terrible calamity had befallen us, and it took the sister she was visiting some time to convince her that this is how they are in the winter, and they're perfectly fine. They'll get leaves in about April or May, and all will be green. They're not dead, just sleeping. Another sister, from Hawaii, met me outside the admin center door one snowy morning when I was coming to work, and wanted me to help her build a snowman. I would have been willing, but alas, it wasn't the right kind of snow for that. Too dry, wouldn't stick together. She hadn't realized there were such permutations to consider. One of our co-workers here is from New Zealand, and she said that before she lived here she didn't understand that snow would fall and then stay on the ground for extended periods. She thought it would go away, dry up like rain does.

I just love stories like that. They help me see things from a new point of view.

Grateful today for: my vocation; the sisters at Bethany; falling snow; the music of k.d. lang; my parents; my dear friends; for Cardinal Bernardin's work in Jewish-Christian dialogue, for R who is recovering remarkably well from a very traumatic illness.
Holding in prayer today: my uncle Barry; for MK,LK,MO,JH,SA and others recovering from surgeries; for MH who has a bad cold; for Olga; for J,S and all immigrants living in fear of deportation; for people who work for ICE; for Archbishop Nienstedt, that his pain, grief and anger may be eased; for CM who lost her job today; for K & S as they move to a new apartment.

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