This year’s weather has thrown everyone for a loop. Walter called last week. Dallas, Texas was covered with ice and snow. The entire family was experiencing “cabin fever.” The boys had been out of school for four days, businesses were shut down, roads were impassable. It was hardly the Super Bowl week everyone expected. Throughout the South the winter has been more like Minnesota’s than one would expect one thousand miles to the South. My sister, Terry, called yesterday. My native state, Arkansas, was buried in a foot of snow. Everyone was suffering from a new malady, Seasonal Affective Disorder.(I have to admit that is a new one on me.) It is hard for me to imagine being in Chicago or other parts of the country who have seen record snows and colds. It is a dark time of the year.
Growing up in the South I don’t remember that winters were like they are this year. It might snow once a year enough to make snow ice cream, have to put on a coat, and wear socks as gloves so our hands wouldn’t freeze making snowballs to throw at my sister. It might really snow and get cold in far-away places like Alaska or Canada, but not where I lived and grew up. My life was like that for awhile as well. My family and I were a world much to ourselves for a long time, and by and large all was well with us. Somewhere else there was a world where all was not well. People got sick and died. Other people’s children got into to trouble and had problems. Couples got divorced and men lost their jobs. Even further away it seemed as though the world was a stormy sea full of war, killings, tragedies, and natural disasters, but where I lived was safe and dry. But then that day came when the wild waves wet us as well, the winds lashed out, and the great beast raised its head and noticed us as well. It was a dark time of the year.
But while we huddled in our winter time wondering if it we would ever be warm or see the sun, things were changing. The days were getting longer and our winter solstice was behind us. Slowly light was coming back to our world. In the church season of Epiphany we celebrate the light of Christ entering our world. Epiphany came to us as well. It was no longer a dark time of the year.
There are some certainties in life that follow nature. Just when we think we will never get rid of cold, snow, and darkness, the daffodils began to poke out from the ground soon to bloom. I grew up with a Grandmother whose hobby was raising daffodils. Her large back yard (approximately an entire acre) was full of beds of different breeds and colors of daffodils. Perhaps it was that sea of different shades of yellow and orange that provided me light during the days of darkness. I grew up knowing whatever the winter was like the daffodils always returned to bring us delight. They always returned more magnificent every year. When they did, it was a glorious time of year.
Your friend, Webb