Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No Complaints

Glinda writes:

February 19: When I awoke this morning (Tuesday), the temperature was 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Just a bit past noon, it is now 24. Winter's hold is still felt strongly. Some musings are in order.

Looking back to Saturday evening, we had rain and some freezing rain in the night. Winter had softened in that dynamic play of edges between Winter and promise of Spring. As we woke on Sunday morning, the rain turned to snow. At first, we had that nice wet Snowman (or Woman) snow which comes straight down in globs. But the wind came up from the northwest and the temperatures turned cold. In the afternoon, the winds increased and we had "horizontal snow". Over time, the snow from above began to decrease. The clouds looked "thin" with a slight blue tinge of sky showing through. Teasing cold winds played with snow in the air but close to the ground.

Those who have lived here tell us Winters of the last 5 years or so have been very mild. In fact, some years hardly any snow has covered the place and ice on ponds just hasn't amounted to the usual fare. These are not the Winters of our childhoods when northeast Missouri was known by some grumbling Human inhabitants as the coldest place in state.

Recently from the North, the 3 Crawfords have certainly been changed by severe North Dakota Winters we've experienced these past 32 years. We learned some valuable lessons there. The power of Nature is evident, especially in Winter. You can't fight it. It is useless to complain. You may need to alter some supposedly all important Human plans. To make peace with the place and ultimately oneself, one must go with Nature's flow and respect the Awesome Power that is. Or move.

We have loved this year's Winter in our new home in Missouri with the variability of snow, ice, cold temperatures, occasional thawing relief. At first, the Winter season was scary, because for one, we didn't exactly know what to expect. For another, we live in the country, so it was easy to feel like we were out in it. At that time, my thoughts changed as I began to reflect with gratitude on simple essentials like heat and warmth. We are blessed in these times. This is not the reality for all. As time and Winter went on, I began to see we are living in a wonderland with the raw power of Nature all around.

Some folks in these parts have complained about the severity of this Winter season, but we have no complaints. Nature is an Amazing Power. To complain would be like a mere Babe in the Womb complaining to Mother about the temperature of the room. She knows how it must be. Or, to shift metaphors, it would be like a mere molecule of paint on canvas grumbling about the Masterpiece which the Master paints.

When Nature is more "in your face", we 3 C's are relaxing into that space of accepting we are not in charge. We are filled with awe as we witness such drama. We see ourselves as part of Nature rather than separate from Her. We try to practice humility and grace in these things. Looking back, we may be getting a little better at it. We reflect on how small and dependent we Humans are in the scheme of things.

I also am grateful that this season seems more normal and that in this brief moment, perhaps global warming has slowed. Perhaps somewhere, the Polar Ice has slowed its melt. Polar Bears need that. Those generations yet to come would be grateful the season is more the norm and we Humans (their ancestors) did not complain. Instead, we celebrated the life giving capacity and wondrous complexity of our Earthly home.

I see beauty in all of these things. On my trip to the mailbox, I noted tracks of Rabbits, Deer, Fox. The songbirds are feeding exuberantly and in large numbers on this day. A Cardinal left me a feather in a Human footprint in the snow. Yes, beauty lies all around. We just need to open, stop and look.

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