Yesterday the snow was like a carpet of diamonds.
I’ve always loved snow. We had plenty of it in my growing-up years in Pennsylvania. But that didn’t prepare me for four college winters in Maine. From October to March, cafeteria trays were our makeshift sleds for hurtling down the small mountain on the edge of our campus, and a pair of cross-country skis took me at night into the silence of the woods that surrounded it. Some days we had to walk through tunnels of snow to get to our classes.
But I’ve never seen anything like yesterday. The morning temperature was 10 degrees, with wind chill below zero—unusual in these North Carolina mountains. The snow had fallen overnight in large crystals, and the effect was stunning: a mountainside sparkling with dazzling radiance, as if strewn with precious gems. Bundled up against the weather, I lingered at the scene until my toes began to go numb and I couldn’t resist the call of the fireplace, a warm afghan, and a mug of hot lemon-ginger tea at home. Continue reading
It was a rainbow more spectacularly breathtaking than any I had ever seen. Bill, our dogs Micah and Tasha, and I were taking our nightly twilight walk down our rural mountain road on Friday evening. Emblazoned over us was a complete arc of brilliantly vibrant color against a sky that glowed with electric pink and fuchsia.
We weren’t alone in our awe. At Circle of Mercy two nights later, I discovered that my seven-year-old friend Abby was riding in the car when she saw the rainbow and couldn’t take her eyes off it. “It seems like it’s following us home,” she said to her mother. “Is it solid enough to stand on?”
While I stared at it, transfixed, I recalled God’s words to Noah after the great flood: “When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between me and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth” (Gen. 9:16). I was always taught that the rainbow was a reminder to us of God’s promise. But God was actually saying that it’s a reminder to God never to bring such total devastation to the earth and humanity again. Because surely God must be tempted sometimes to just chalk us all up as a big mistake.
This might be one of those times. Such hatred and fear plague us, such grief assaults us. Continue reading