The giant snowflakes started falling around lunchtime. They came down slow at first, but then fell heavy and steady. I sent my 11-year-old out to rescue the wooden parts in the remnant of her dilapidated, mostly buried snowman.
You know it’s deep when your snowman gets swallowed up by the snow.
Hovering over a bowl of macaroni noodles, my 8-year-old teased about eating lunch on the deck but then worried about snow tornados. “Snow-nados,” she called them. “Could there be such a thing really?” she asked, troubled by her own imagination.
Outside, the snow kept flying and flying, and inside I admired my Valentine’s Day tulips and marveled that somewhere beyond this wintery, white, frozen world was a place warm enough to grow flowers.
The snow looked so heavy as it fell from the sky, and yet it looked so light and delicate as it laced the tree branches.
As the snowy afternoon wore on, the white thickly coated the branches of my favorite maple tree, visibility grew more limited, and the wind picked up.
Snowflakes mixed with sleet hit the warm window and slid downward in strange crowds.
The snow kept falling, piling up deeper and deeper. I shoveled four inches off the driveway while dinner cooked in the oven. I came inside with my coat completely soaked by the snow. Less than an hour later, the driveway needed cleared again. After dinner, my husband and our oldest daughter went out to shovel more and fix the belt on the snow blower. The belt was shredded. No snow blower for this storm. So on and on they shoveled.
I read princess stories to our youngest, watched over the banana bread in the oven and fixed hot cocoa for the shoveling crew. After we tucked the girls into bed, my husband and I headed outside again to shovel for another hour. We shoved and lifted, heaved and threw snow high above our heads. The snow piles along the driveway grew massive — higher and deeper than I ever remember such piles growing in past winters. On and on we shoveled until we found part of the driveway and part of the mailbox.
Now it’s dark. I just finished washing dishes, and as I type the howling wind is blowing small chunks of ice onto the windows. It sounds like bits of glass breaking, and the lights keep flickering and dimming.
My 11-year-old, she is sleeping with her flashlight nearby — just in case. I lit a candle in the kitchen, a big candle with three wicks — just in case. And my mind, oh it wants to worry.
Tomorrow’s high is only 16. What if the power goes off. Tomorrow’s low is -2. What if the water pipes freeze when the power goes off? What if the power outage makes the smoke detectors go off again? What if…
If left to my own imagination, surely I’ll be the next one worrying about those mythical snow tornadoes.
So I fight the wild imagination, the what-ifs, the fear. It fight it with words.
Our dear friend Paul, his words rescue me from myself. He tells me in Romans 8:
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Ah, yes. It’s that steadfast love I’ve been writing about. The snow, it can threaten. It can pile up so high and so deep that most of the driveway disappears, along with all but the door of the mailbox. It can even swallow up the snowman entirely. It can fall and fall and threaten to never cease. But neither the snow nor the wind nor anything else in all creation can separate me from the steadfast love of the LORD.
Soon enough the snow will cease, but His love never will. And in the morning, His mercies will be new again. So to bed I go, resting in the shelter of His great faithfulness.