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From brooding skies belch handfuls of snow, etching tree trunks with lacy fingers, rounding shrubs with capes of ermine, and obscuring remnants of brown leaves mashed against fence posts. Winds rollick flakes in a centrifuge with a no turn-off switch.

Hours pass. Darkness encroaches this boisterous play. Within the halogen glow of street lamps, snow-swirls waltz to the strains of an invisible orchestra. Silence hushes this wintry phenomenon with wordlessness. And still it snows—throughout the night. With daylight comes a gradual surcease. Only traces of snow meander upon the white world, until finally exhausted.

Such displays reveal the white fire of an Unseen Presence beautifying the sordid, igniting our senses, and stirring our imaginations.

We are grateful.

 

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Like a cunning lover, last week’s snowfall wooed autumn’s dismantling within the rigors of winter: Leafy branches sported white overcoats; spindly shrubs stooped in supplication; fence posts peaked with medieval turrets. A solitary cardinal flashed toward a neighbor’s woodshed, then alighted and preened like a celebrity caught within the blitz of paparazzi. From a snow mound poked the handle of a red wagon. Flurries outlined swirls of breezes that fashioned ghostly images upon the asphalt street and tousled the green muffler flapping around the snowman’s neck nearby. Only random cars moved about.

All was still: Its pregnant hush evoked an OH! The first morning of creation must have felt like that.

Such OHs burst with silence, trip breathing, balloon joy, and open onto the companioning Sacred within our depths. Yet a tinge of sadness lingers in their wake, such OHs! so fleeting and evanescent. Would that we could hold onto them. That being said, we can still watch for them and give thanks when experienced.

And this year, do watch for OHs! around Thanksgiving tables, graced with family and friends. Go beyond well-worn traditions and bring something new: a new dish, a new prayer, a new listening.

“Bidden or not bidden, God is present.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

“I can’t!” says a towheaded three-year-old, leaning upon the handlebars of her blue bike and looking up at her mother. Her sneakers grip the asphalt path in the park, alive with birdsong. Ahead, breezes tease the leafing weeping willow like a violinist tuning his strings before a performance.

“Oh, but you can!” says her mother steadying the seat of her bike supported by training wheels. “You’ve done so well—this first time out. And look how far you’ve come—And we’re so close to home.”

She looks over his shoulder, then slowly grins. “Yeah!”

Is it not all about balance? Managing to schlep through challenges whenever and however they come?

In a deeper sense, it seems like life’s developmental challenges also require “training wheels:” parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, pastors, supervisors, counselors, doctors, lawyers—the list goes on. The secret is to know whom to approach when swamped by yet another glitch. Only with its resolution do we grow and become more helpful to others.

Indeed, such daily discipline enables practiced souls to rely upon Spirit of Truth to steady their spirits and lead them to their ultimate home. It works that way.

 

 

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