, ,

Winter remained mild until two weeks ago, when it suddenly began working overtime  with constant temperatures below 32degrees and days of frozen precipitation.

The landscape outside my window is stark white, wearing a thick blanket of snow.  When fog tiptoed in during the wee hours of morning, it froze into a crystal glaze covering everything.  Blackjack branches bend as if hunkering down to find warmer earth.  The bluejays and finches have discovered the shepherd’s hook holding the birdfeeder is too slick to grasp, and they comically slide down until wings compensate.  Early buds on the Bradford pear tree next door may regret their impatience for spring.  Twigs and leaves scattered on sleeping fescue peek through the white drifts as if searching for sunlight, but there will be none today, if the forecasters are accurate.

The streets are coated with ice too, and it is too hazardous to venture out onto them….broken limbs or dented fenders would surely result.  Most of the area churches cancelled services this morning in a gesture of caution toward membership.

Worship today quietly unfolds in my own house in these ways:

The insistent chirp-sing of the cardinal perched in the cedar woke me gently…without a morning rush, there was no need for beeping from the alarm.

My husband’s warmth kept me under the soft bedcovers for a while longer….gratitude for the life we share washed over me as I listened to his steady breathing.

The glow of the fireplace and softness of slippers lend coziness to my morning coffee.

The scent of cranberries and pecans and oatmeal wafts through the rooms and reaches me at my desk as homemade granola crisps in the oven while I write.

Sabbath… brought to us on the north winds.

For the gift of hushed rest in warm comfort, I am grateful.