Friday, February 8, 2013

The Snow Storm

So you may have heard that it is snowing where I live.  There is a good chance that it is snowing where you live, too.  We, like everyone else in the Northeast, have bought enough milk to bathe in and are now hunkered down for a couple of days.  The boys have been entertaining themselves by reading, sleeping, and sledding.  I have been picking away at the mandolin and the sermon.  It has been a nice day with lots of downtime. 

I like to think this is what it would have been like for those 19th Century parsonage dwellers. Here we are, working up some ideas for Sunday, gazing out the window, thinking or writing a bit more.  For many of the pastors of this congregation, inspiration came as much from the view outside the window--from the acts of nature and the inner natures of the people they met--as it did from the texts they read.  Right now I am thinking about how the snow can change the way the landscape looks.  I am also thinking about how storms can change our inner landscape.  A storm of either kind can make us see the same things as before, but see them differently.  I hope the view is good for you.

One of my readings is a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I should say that Ralph is not my favorite Transcendentalist.  I find him vague and I am not so sure there is as much "there" there as many of his most devoted fans insist.  However, this one is about the snow and the storm and I like it very much. It is, in fact, called The Snow-storm and I think the first stanza describes our current situation well.
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 traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm
I am enjoying this "tumultuous privacy".  It is a sort of quiet calm indoors while the wind and weather surge around the outside.  The rest of the poem is pretty good, too.  You can find it in most anthologies or you can come to church if you are able.  ...round every windward stake, or tree or door.  Speeding the myriad-handed, his wild work...
Anyway, it is getting dark now and there is call for me to make dinner before we settle in to our evening pursuits.  I suspect mine will be a lot like the afternoon.  Hang in there.  Stay warm.  Keep your phones and readers charged.  Find your candles and your guitar if you've got 'em.  You never know when they might come in handy...


  1. Lovely. It is not snowing here in Portland, OR, but I am thinking of many people in Natick who are enclosed in their tumultuous privacy right now. Sounds as if you're making the most of it, Adam. I look forward to meeting you one day. (Bob and Jackie's daughter.)