Embracing Winter

I have always embraced the beauty of winter, but I’ve never had to work outside in the cold. I have always enjoyed snowfalls and winter storms, but I don’t have a long commute to work. I can remember living in the lower mainland of British Columbia where it rarely snowed, and feeling smug as we watched blizzards and snow storms in the East, but deep down inside I found myself missing the excitement that came with disruption of routine. Buses would be cancelled, and snow days called. Drive ways would need to be shoveled and neighbors would meet. I remember one year we were so blessed with snow that church was cancelled three Sundays in a row. Along with driveways, open pieces of ice would be cleared off and games of shinny would last all afternoon. I have memories of a cold spell that not only froze the creek behind our house, but the entire Bay of Quinte. My brother and I were able to skate two kilometers down the creek with sticks and a puck and shoot that rubber disk on a sheet of ice that never ended. I had a pair of cross country skies that l loved clipping on and slipping through the woods on nights that seemed so bright while it would still be snowing. Every time the temperature has been below zero, I’ve always had a warm place to sleep. Mom and dad tell the story of the night I was born; they only had a wood stove in the house. Dad took mom to the hospital and stayed with her until I was born and came home and found three mice underneath the stove. All three had frozen to death. My dad said the warmest place in the house was the fridge, and when I finally came home, the stove was well stoked and the little home warmed. I love the cold temperatures of winter. Yet, as they sustain themselves, there also grows this longing for relief. The longer the cold spell, the greater the yearning for increased warmth, for change of season and a new season of growth to begin. And maybe I’ve been able to embrace the beauty of winter, knowing that it too has a limited number of days and nights that dip below zero, a limited number of snow falls left, a weakening grip on that which is cold. While we are in it, embrace it’s beauty while it’s still around.                                                       Pastor Sid

Karin Terpstra