The Joy of the First Snow

Today, or rather last night, brought the first snow of the new year. It’s always a celebratory day with a nine-year-old who still loves to frolic in the white stuff. Oh yes, she also has a middle name of “Snow” (my maiden name) so there’s probably some connection there.

And, it’s Saturday and the snow and ice cancelled all school functions today — sports as well as the sports picture day. So, with lots of newfound free time and one of her best friends, we relished the rituals of putting on and taking off of winter outdoor gear, making hot chocolate, and exploring the outdoors when it looks so new and white.

Who knew until today that we had a restaurant in the woods in the backyard named “Snowball Cafe?” After its proprietors readied the place for well over an hour, it served me tacos (magnolia leaves folded over and stuffed with evergreen lettuce and other white ingredients), sushi (green leaves that look like seaweed, stuffed with white rice (i.e. snow), and icy smoothies made with — yes, snow — and red Gatorade. All these gourmet treats were served to me at “The Grand Table” — the smooth, large stump leftover from when my favorite, oldest tree in the yard died and had to be cut down. It’s savoring its new life at the center of “Snowball Cafe” even though the dog jumped up and unceremoniously sat down in the middle of my meal. It reminded me of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and I could have stayed seated there (on the stacks of leftover patio pavers they used to make three seats) for a very long time.

I thanked the Lord for the simple pleasure of sitting in the woods in the snow. I thanked Him for a precious, long-awaited daughter and her sweet, imaginative friend. And I thanked Him for the time and space to take it all in — the cold mist on my face, the amazing quality of children’s imaginations, the warm home to come back into, and the presence of a peace that passes all understanding.

Blessings and kind regards to you all.

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