It was a beautiful day. The sun angled her morning light—trees casting shadows across the new fallen snow. The temperature had risen to a balmy 25 degrees—a veritable heat wave! More birdsongs drifted over the unmarked snow.

My heart was here—present—slave to the moment—absorbed. My soul sang with joy at the world of wonder that enveloped me.

And then I notice something. The picnic tables, snow laden and waiting, seemed to huddle together as if they were talking. They seemed to be in a winter convention, telling stories of better, less lonely days. They were remembering butts sitting on their benches, elbows leaning on their tops, chicken-fry crumbs staining their wood. 

And they seemed anxious for warmer days when snow would disappear and children would play around their legs while adults sat and spun stories into the air. They longed for the crowds of people, all nationalities, coming to share food and fun in the open spaces.

How is it that I created this fantasy? After all, I was so connected to the icy moment of sun and snow. Joy in the morning light had so overwhelmed me and here I was creating a table convention about warmer weather.

I think we are such complex and interesting creatures. We can celebrate the present with complete absorption—fully present to the world as it is—and at the same time lean into longing for a day that lies un-lived before us. At the same time winter wows us spring seduces us.

What an amazing thing to live this human journey!


The seasonal cathedral has returned. The canopy of green spreads its translucent leaves across the trail. The early morning storms have exited east and rain drips off still wet oak. The sky filtering arms of the maple makes my prescription sunglasses redundant. 

The trail is laced with rivulets of water. The typically dry crevices have become flowing streams, running down hill.  The creek, often flat and noisy with protruding stones is spilling over its edges as it races toward the river. 

The air is fecund—robins singing, geese grousing, blue heron gliding,  bees buzzing, pollen sneezing. Life reproducing in the thick, moist air. Spring has finally birthed from the frozen season and life is swimming all around me.

The morning cool is damp—the liquid air presages the muggy heat that envelopes us later in the day as the sun makes it’s journey across the May sky.

And my heart is singing the line from the hymn we sang yesterday in church: “Blest are those who from this table live their lives in gratitude.” I am so grateful to live this day! It is hard for a heart that is alert not to overflow with sweet thankfulness.


Indiana winter this year has been one for the snow lovers--and cold lovers--and sledding lovers. I determined years ago that I would not let weather define my mood or what I do. Life is too short to let things I can do nothing about control how I live my life or how I feel about life.

But, I have to admit, this winter has been pretty weighty. The sub-zero weather that follows snow storms has secured the snow in permanent piles beside our driveway. Those who live in our city without adequate shelter have struggled to not only stay warm but, in too many cases, to stay alive. Those who are waiting through the winter of their soul find a companion in the weather even as they ache for a sign of new life emerging. The ubiquitous light of the media simply reminds us of the dark winter freeze.

I don't have answers to how we might speed through to spring. Thaw comes in its own time.  But, I think one way to carry the weight of winter is to partner with others. Reach out to those whom you know and offer them warm hospitality in your home. Share a hot cup of care by sending someone a greeting.  Light a candle in the cold by calling someone whose icy burden weights their soul. Companions may not have answers to weighty questions but they can help you know you are not alone.

And as you companion each other, hold hard to the hope that the snow will melt and that somewhere a sprig of spring will one day emerge. Allow that hope to warm your heart that holds the dark burden of pain and oppressive fear. Remember, under the snow is a seed that, with the warming sun, becomes a rose.