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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hope Springs Eternal

A Little Hint of Snow
North Carolina Rest Stop
When you live in Baton Rouge, snow is an infrequent blessing. If by some freak of nature, we have an outpouring of flakes, we won’t have to shovel it. It will take hours of collecting to roll a miniature version of a snowman. We will not under any circumstance measure depth in feet rather than inches. Roofs will not collapse. Drifts will not barricade doors. We will not be housebound.

We will, on the other hand, be favored by an immediate closure of schools. Local education boards do not want to be responsible for the accidents that could occur when hundreds of school buses attempt to traverse streets salted with the nearly freezing fluff. Offices will be reduced to a skeleton staff to get people off danger-encrusted streets before rush hour. This shutdown of a minor metropolis is an anathema to people who move south from more northern climates.

Living with scant exposure to snow produces an eager fondness for it among people living in Baton Rouge. We have no negative memories to temper our enthusiasm. We associate it with unexpected holidays, family togetherness and the warmth of hearth and hearty stews.

So it was today, that as I traveled between Columbia, South Carolina, and Durham, North Carolina, I was more ecstatic than afraid when soft splats of white appeared on the windshield. I was disappointed that they disappeared so quickly in tiny rivulets easily dispersed by languishing wiper blades.

My eagerness was a stark contrast to the panic I had heard in my mother’s voice as she had warned of winter storms just hours before. Technology allows my mother to monitor the southern weather from the coziness of her Iowa den and keep me abreast of perceived dangers as I travel eastward.  A lifetime spent in the Midwest has given her a far different perspective on this perilous precipitation. She warned me to purchase a window de-icing device for clearing windows and carry a blanket to keep me from hypothermia should the car be lodged in a snowdrift. To her credit, she didn’t suggest a bag of sand in the trunk, a spare shovel or flares.

Today’s snow was a gentle tease. The cold winds were not enough for flakes to keep their shape. Resurgence of the drizzle overpowered the tentative attempt for a noteworthy winter event.  At the end of the day, the ground was merely damp, not white.

Perhaps tomorrow it will snow. I can always hope.

Thankfully, while I’d love to have a snow-filled Thanksgiving, my fondest hopes are not based on a weather event. My real hope is in the One who has never failed to deliver as promised.

For you are my hope; O Lord God, you are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. Upon you have I leaned and relied from birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb and you have been my benefactor from that day. My praise is continually of you. Psalm 71:5-6