Winter Blooms

We have yet to see snow at Maplehurst.

I have seen a dusting of white blossoms on the spiraea shrubs outside the small red barn. I have also seen two cherry trees foolishly speckled with pink blooms. They were planted at the edge of the grocery store’s parking lot. Our strangely warm December plus the heat of that concrete lot confused the trees. They think spring has come, but there can be no spring without winter.

A notice from the school arrived letting us know that the “science of sledding” field trip has been postponed.

I sat with a friend recently, and we talked about the weird weather. We also talked about some of the awful, tragic things happening in the world. We wondered how exactly to go on living and loving and creating with that shadow overhead. Is it ever okay to forget about the shadow? Is it ever okay to just be happy?

We don’t always have a choice when it comes to happiness, but sometimes we do. Yet, it isn’t always easy to accept happiness. Even if we find ourselves happy, we don’t advertise the fact. It is our guilty secret.

I love snow because it gives us both the opportunity and the permission to be happy. The shadow disappears for a while, obliterated by the icy sparkle. While it snows, we know that now is for angels and cocoa and home.

Now is for happiness. Sorrow can wait.

This world privileges Monday-morning efficiency and business-as-usual. But the kingdom of heaven is more like a snow day. It is right now. It is permission to be happy. It is laughter bubbling up from within the shadow of the cross.

There may be no snow, but today is the twelfth day of Christmas. The Douglas fir we cut down in that farmer’s back field is, miraculously, still fresh and green. I won’t pack away the ornaments until tomorrow.

Christmas has come even if the snow has not, and this right now is for angels and cocoa and home.

Right now is for happiness.

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