Ah, the snow! The eastern part of the country just experienced its largest winter storm in many years—the fourth largest in history in some areas of the northeast. Here in our area we had about 6 inches in Brentwood, while Clarksville/Hopkinsville had several more.
Here are some observations from the weekend:
Nashvillians, by and large, should not be allowed to drive in these conditions. We aren’t very good at it. Some of us because we aren’t confident enough in our skills and others because we are over-confident.
The trouble brought on by snow seems to bring people together—much like other kinds of “disasters” have the power to do. I have witnessed any number of helping acts of strangers toward strangers during this time. Reminds me that at our core, we really do want to help each other and take care of each other. I only wish it didn’t take a winter storm to bring that out in more of us.
Shoveling snow is a lot like work. I personally spent two or three hours for three days shoveling snow at various places. Hard, physical labor possesses a built-in reinforcement of its own. I feel good when I’ve exhausted myself doing something like that. And sleep is a heavenly gift after that kind of day—so is a hot bath!
The landscape was beautiful—breathtaking. Some parts of the area looked like East Tennessee or even Colorado. If you are like me, there is something holy about un-trampled snow. It always reminds me of a painting—so pristine and perfect. And then there’s also something that touches me as I make the first footprint in that snow—like I was an explorer seeing this land for the very first time. As if my footsteps had been the first-ever.
I don’t own a sled—and I haven’t owned one for a long, long time but I wish, on weekends like this one, that I had one. I will dream about it awhile and then the snow will melt and I will NOT get one to have for the next snowfall and then I will regret once more not having one. A vicious cycle. But watching kids in the neighborhood sledding is a joy. And it reminds me of younger days when friends and I would drag a canoe up to the top of the highest hill at Iroquois Steeplechase, put three or four us in and then let go. Or finding a refrigerator door or old car hood, attach a rope and then hook onto a four-wheeled drive truck to pull around in a field—stories for another day.
Cabin Fever. Most of us are so tied to our routines that an interruption can cause anxiety. A lot of us may not have been able to get out for a day or two. Did we have enough food in the house to get by? If so, what do we DO with ourselves? Binge-watching T.V.? Catching up on some reading? Or worrying about how much stuff was piling up at the office? Maybe part of our disease is that we aren’t terribly comfortable with just ourselves and the quiet.
63 of us made it to worship on Sunday—this on a day when dozens of churches in the area simply called off services. I would never argue with those decisions. Each church needs to decide for themselves what to do. But I was so grateful to you who braved the weather to come and worship. It speaks to your dedication and faithfulness. Maybe it also speaks to the cabin fever issue?? I don’t question motivation as to WHY you were here. Just grateful you WERE!
Kristin Clark-Banks is the pastor of Forest Hills UMC.