Have you ever seen a documentary or film showing people in conditions where there is not enough food? I have an image in my head of a big pot overturning and hordes of desperate people throwing themselves to the ground and scuffling in the dirt trying to salvage some of the soup. I remember feeling revulsion, thinking of eating dirt to get any nourishment, and sorrow and pity that anyone could be so hungry that they would.
I’m telling you, if sunshine was something that could be spilled out of a pot, you would see me clawing at the ground, trying to get any bit I could.
It has been a very long time here without sun.
Saturday morning I awoke to Lydia shouting, “Hello! It’s a Winter Wonderland!” And it was. Six inches of snow had fallen in the night. Every branch of all the trees was silhouetted in snow and the sun shone through it so it sparkled. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I just had to say that again.
We had a quick breakfast and then everyone bundled up and headed outside. Paul plowed the driveway while I cleaned up around our front door – something I had failed to do in the Fall. The kids just sort of walked around and explore the yards. We are surrounded on the South and the West by wooded hills so early on a tiny patch of sunlight shone only on the end of the driveway. Several times I interrupted my work to walk down there and just stand in the light. It felt so good. On one of my trips I saw C. Riley lying beside the drive staring up at the sky. I lay down beside him.
We were underneath the reaching arms of a tall oak. The slight breeze and the warming of the snow was causing the snow on the branches to gently fall. It appeared to be snowing, which I guess it was if only secondarily. It was so peaceful and I was grateful to share this moment with my son.
When I finished my work I pulled out a wooden baby sleigh and pulled Beanie around.
After Paul was done snow blowing I asked him to climb our side hill with me and sit in the sun. Birdie and Beanie followed. Beanie got stuck half way up so I went back down and helped her the rest of the way. When I returned Lydia was asking Paul if it was snowing having seen the snow fall from the branches. Paul explained. I was glad that all of us had noticed that and enjoyed it.
All the time we were out I kept my eyes wide open and tried to breathe as deeply as I could. I felt fully present and aware of the beauty of the day, the sunshine and my precious family.
I was wide awake.