Last night, I had another of my listening gatherings. Seven down, 2 or 3 more to go. People have been generous with their stories, with their time, with their willingness to start considering new possibilities for how we move into the future. But it had been a long day. A parishioner with nothing and nobody to call her own died unexpectedly and we are scrambling to do right by her. One of the guilds had their monthly meeting and had asked me to be the presenter. I’m finishing up all the plans and preparations for Advent and Christmas, both the ones at home and the ones here at church. And my self is catching up, still, with the emotional roller coaster of the weekend with our far-away girl.
By the time I was done with my workday, it was 8 pm and one who is scattered even on good days, I walked out without my cell phone. I was far enough down the road when I figured that out to decide not to turn back for it, especially since it was raining cats and dogs and getting colder by the moment. I prayed for safe passage to L’boro and kept going.
For the most part, in the less than 12 hours I was phone-less, I felt liberated. When I started up my car, the thermometer said it was 31 degrees out and it sure did have that feel/smell of just-about-to snow-time. I’d heard the worst of the wet front that came through was clearing out last night so I convinced myself I was mistaken and headed out the driveway, to our street and then to Broad Street/Hwy 29.
It was when I got to Lowndesboro that I realized I’d read the weather right. It had been snowing enough that there was a very visible dusting/gathering of snow on the limbs of the trees all the way down Broad Street. I passed one tree where there were a couple of cardinals sitting on a branch. That vivid red, the insistent white of the snow that demanded to be seen, and the mossy darkness of an evergreen in winter it was all gorgeous.
Finally, I missed having my phone. If I had had it, I would have taken a picture to share. So you’ll just have to take my word. But mark the date. On November 15 of 2018, at 7:13 in the morning, we had snow in Lowndesboro, AL. Not enough to make a whit of difference, but enough to feast the eyes on. And feel that tiny little hop and dip of anticipation in the belly because Christmas coming. It will be a complicated and fraught time for the Mallowman and me; it always is. And sad for sure, without our girl with us to celebrate with. Nonetheless. There are moments like the one this morning when I want to stop time long enough to truly, deeply, experience the gratitude that comes as I draw one breath, and then another.
Y’all: it snowed!