Laura J. Boggess: Snow dancing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The falling snow in her quiet is my kin. The way she comes, soft, and nests unheard on tree limbs and rooftops -- this, my song. She spins her dance through pale sky and wind with silent grace -- no thunder clapping prologue ... no window tapping insistence. Just this -- slow falling accumulation that takes one by surprise in the morning.
Today we are intimates, my cousin snow and I. This morning she came calling with this gift of replevied beauty -- the land all luminous and pristine -- and reminded me that it is still Christmas. I awakened to the remnants of a week of feasting ... cookie crumbs on the floor, half-eaten trays of confectionaries on the counter, the festive dishes stacked in neat piles. And laundry.
Full days of merry lead to neglect of the washing and I awaken this morning to this realization. Mounds and mounds of it. There is a load of whites in the dryer waiting for my hands and I fill the other with colors -- blue jeans, the new pajamas my mother-in-law gifted me with, the Christmas robe for my youngest ... in they go. I carry the basket of whites in the living room and am about to feel the weight of it all when she comes. I see her twirling snow dance through the French doors, and I sit the basket down, lean into the glass and let these drifting flakes fill me. My breath is lace, and I feel the cold press through me.
The light of morning has not yet come to full, and my boys still dream upstairs. There is nothing in her dance to alarm or awaken them. Yet I feel the stirring of these tiny bits of heaven's light divagating in the dawn.
Christmas coming down.
Sunday morning the pastor reminded us that there are 12 days of Christmas ... this season is not over until the Magi discover the Christ on Epiphany Sunday -- January 6. This I tend to forget, or disregard in my desire to return to the norm. Things need to settle down, after all.
But my heart strains against leaving this season behind. The babe sleeps soft in the manger. On Christmas morning our youngest plucked the Christ child from his hiding place and now the core of our nativity is complete. The wise men still wander.
There is nothing ordinary about the falling snow -- nothing every day-ish. Her crystalline flakes float in the wind, carrying shimmer to earth. My cousin snow understands how to go about the business of life and carry beauty within.
Can I see Christmas this way? Can I carry it like a snow-dance all year long? Fall back into the rhythm of life with quiet beauty that falls over all it touches -- embracing, covering, spreading Christmas over all?
I back away from the glass and return to the basket. This quiet -- this time alone is usually my prayer time. I stare at scads of white and determine this: This laundry will be my prayer. These balls of socks are my prayer beads, each soft fold a line of grace. I touch the stuff of life with my heart, and I know that this is Christmas. The snow-dance lifts me, spins my every-day around. We dip and sway back into life in a quiet rhythm of beauty.
And I hum my prayer as the snow continues to fall.Boggess lives in Hurricane with her husband and sons. She writes for TheHighCalling.org and blogs at The Wellspring.