snowed in

(originally posted on my CaringBridge page on 2/12/13)

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields, seems nowhere to alight:  the whited air hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, and veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.  The sled and traveler stopped, the courier’s feet delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit around the radiant fireplace, enclosed in a tumultuous privacy of storm . . .

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (An excerpt from the Snow-Storm)

There’s something so romantic and nostalgic about being snowed in . . . the privacy and cozy isolation—blissful.  Yet in all the beauty that the endless blanket of heavy snow creates, like many things, it can be deceiving.  While many of us were comfy-cozy, bundled up by a radiant fire, watching the storm blow around outside . . . sadly, there were many people tragically hit by its force—some lost homes, while others even lost lives.

“Nemo,” apparently the name weather folk chose to call this blizzard of 2013, seemed an ironic choice to me.  After all—how does a blizzard of “epic proportions” get named after the Latin word for “nobody”?  How can something so big and powerful be a Nobody?  Nothing?  Null and void of existence?  Goliath, perhaps . . . but Nemo?  I guess, though, just like the very meaning of blizzard—sometimes a blinding series of unexpected, and often times, unpleasant occurrences find us along the way.  Life’s little nothings that come out of nowhere, turning our world upside down.

As you know, my “Nemo” of epic proportions decided to blow in around Christmas, disrupting my little corner of the world.  Just as this past weekend proved, in the midst of an epic storm, time seems to almost stand still.  Blizzards seem to force people into slowing down, allowing no excuse to be in a rush to go anywhere.  In a sense, they bring people together.

Late Friday night, in the darkness, as the winds were gusting and the electricity began flickering off and on, I wondered what would be waiting at the break of dawn.  Soon enough, when Saturday morning emerged, there it was:  a whimsical winter wonderland—decorated with over 2 feet of snow.  It sat heavy on the trees and in some parts of my backyard, appeared Narnia-like.  As I stood gazing at the sweeping “white” all around us, I suddenly gasped and winced as I noticed a massive oak had fallen from the neighbor’s yard through a fence into our backyard.  Ugh.  As time seemed to stand still in the allure of tranquility . . . very real destruction actively existed in the darkness.

What else will materialize from the wake of this epic storm named Nobody?  The aftermath of a blizzard sometimes doesn’t reveal itself until the snow melts—then a trail of surprises are left behind.

Will my personal “Nemo,” my tumultuous privacy of storm, leave a trail of dark surprises, or will it leave a lasting impression, a forever imprint on the hearts of those its impact has touched?  Will I one day be sitting back, recalling my blizzard of epic proportions as a life-changing moment of clarity?  A point in my life where time stood still and through its pause, my eyes were open wider to the real treasure all around me?

When the snow melts, I pray that my heart will urgently align with all that really matters . . . the Love that surrounds me . . . the “forever” treasure I wish to store for purposes beyond this miniscule stop along the path of eternity.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  ~Matthew 6:20-21