The Calming Of A Winter Storm


I think Mother Nature was trying to tell us something last night.  Were you listening? 

I always consider the quietest and most serene night of the year to be Christmas Eve.  Family and friends are usually at the place where the Holiday is to be celebrated, and the roads and streets are therefore mostly empty.  Churches get filled but other places are closed and dark.  There is always something so soft and right about that yearly event.

The blizzard that marched through Madison and larger sections of Wisconsin and the Midwest last night allowed many of us to experience another time this year of calm and undisturbed beauty.  For many of us, from the moment we get up in the morning to the time we close our eyes at the end of the day, is one long attempt to marshal how things are to play out in our lives.  We pretend that somehow we are in control of everything.  So it was interesting to see the street in front of our home on the west side of Madison last night grow very quiet.  With powerful majesty Mother Nature blew the snow in all directions leaving roads best left unchallenged. 

At 9:00 P.M.  we bundled up on a 30-minute walk in our neighborhood to feel the power of the blizzard.  Several times the wind gusts were snappy enough to take my breath away.  The snowflakes felt more like small ice crystals that stung the face in rapid-fire succession.  As we walked it was interesting to see so many lights on at various condos and apartments on a Saturday night that otherwise would be dark.  I was hoping that perhaps the forced cancellation of so many events, and the need to stay put, had reconnected some to the unlimited ways to be entertained at home.  After all the bluster and angst that fills so many lives on a daily basis it was wonderful to think that Mother Nature could take charge and order how things were going to proceed for an evening.   She was going to make a quiet snowfall the focal point for everyone.   For those that took the time to marvel at the storm she added colorful lighting flashes that radiated off the white and made a most remarkable light show.

I know that some folks got tense and anxious because they could not go and do what they had planned, and therefore were in a bad mood.  Mother Nature was trying to tell us all to slow down a bit, sit back, take a deep breath, and look around long enough to see the beauty that is close at hand.  Look at the softness of the flakes as they float to the ground.  Look at the pile of magazines that have accumulated in the living room instead of needing to go driving on bad roads just to shop at the mall.  Grab the SCRABBLE game at home instead of grabbing a beer at the bars. 

I think Mother Nature was trying to tell us something.  Were you listening?

One thought on “The Calming Of A Winter Storm

  1. maryt

    Deke, your lovely piece deserves a comment and a thank you. Snow often makes me nervous and worried. Today Vin and I went out and shoveled a couple of inches of wet snow (not too heavy) together. He, who usually worries that someone will slip and fall on our sidewalk, was relieved and even pleased. He breathed deeply and I asked him, “You seem happy, are you?” And he said yes.
    Thanks again.

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