Snowpocalypse: We’re only in prison if we think we are



White houses on white snow with brown stick people pushing it around in futility. 


That’s what our neighborhood looks like right now. Because it hasn’t stopped snowing and the weather girl says we can look for another round on Friday. 


The same weather girl, and more of her ilk on other stations, were the cause of a supermarket frenzy Monday. We fell for it too, crowding the aisles and throwing into our carts totally irrational items like crab wraps and hot chocolate mix. It wasn’t even the bread and milk and toilet paper that satirists depict in pre-storm parodies.


The weather girls aren’t the only guilty parties here. The state transportation departments and the highway patrol told us to stay home too so they could do their jobs. They’re out there somewhere eating donuts and drinking coffee because we made their jobs so easy. Entire multi-floor corporation headquarters shut their doors today. 


And what did most of us do with the precious gift of a snow day? My sister-in-law paced from room to room eating a box of chocolates. My husband wanted to work on taxes but took a nap instead. I wanted to build a fire in the fireplace and write a blog and read three books and watch movies, but also took a nap. And got depressed.


We are reluctant shut-ins, internally raging against our powerlessness in the face of raw elements. We can’t handle enforced idleness because our culture hasn’t taught us how. We are educated, over-achieving baby boomers programmed with our auto-pilots constantly set to “Full Speed Ahead.” We’re not content unless we’re doing something, making our mark somewhere, anywhere, even if it’s wrong or inappropriate.


We don’t have a clue how to just be . . . how to listen to that still, small voice. How do we face ourselves long enough to know just who the heck we are?


In doing this morning’s journaling, I happened to notice an entry from February 20 of last year.  I needed this fresh perspective:




The world stops, stands still


Hushed and in awe of the power 


and majesty of God.


A gift.


The chance for rare, sustained contemplation


In the quiet of a blanket of white.


Our attention draws inward,


Our thoughts dwell on the holy,


But are poised, if necessary


To turn to survival and to sustenance


For those unable to provide it for themselves.


 A snowstorm reminds us


Of what is elemental


And truly important,


Gives us perspective,


Covers us with purity,


Cleansing and blessing us


With hope.

So now I look out my window at the 2014 version of Snowpocalypse, and what once seemed like prison bars turns back into a mere frame for a photo. For now it’s a harmless one, mentally and physically. But let’s not let it last more than three days or a desperate plea will go out to borrow someone else’s rose-tinted glasses.