Snow Day

As I write this, tiny snowflakes are falling from pearl-white clouds, adding to the 15 inches we’re already received. I hear the hum of the computer and the whoosh of air coming from the heating vent by my feet, but otherwise it’s totally silent. Even the hungry finches gobbling down sunflower seeds on my bird feeder are strangely quiet.

By the time you read this, the snow will be mostly gone. Living in the rain shadow of the Rockies, we don’t keep clouds around for long. Even now, we aren’t really snowed in. The roads are mostly plowed, and Pete shoveled a couple of wheel tracks down the long driveway so we can get our cars out. But I can pretend.

Coming from California, I’m not used to having my schedule dictated by the weather. You can plan an outdoor wedding any time between mid-April and mid-October and be assured of sunny skies. I can still remember the weather report from my teen years at the beach: “Fog and low clouds along the beach, clearing inland. Highs at the beach in the mid-70s. Highs inland around 85.” And it was the same, day after day, all summer long.

Here in Colorado, we actually have weather. It rains and hails and snows. Wee get violent thunderstorms. Sometimes, all that happens at the same time! Then, as counterpoint, we get days when the sun blazes in a cloudless cobalt-blue sky. I’m totally smitten.

I love having weather that changes my plans because it reminds me that I’m not in control. We humans may have subdued nature in many ways, but the weather remains beyond our ability. I think of God’s answer to Job (in chapter 38):

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?

We have to answer as Job did: “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.”

No matter how complex the computer models get, and how confident the claims, scientists are unable to predict the weather even a week ahead. (Here, right by the continental divide, where cold air from Canada meets wet air from the Gulf of Mexico and winds from California, they can’t even get the next ten minutes right!) We can only see the past and predict trends. God holds the future.

I had planned to go birding today. Lake Pueblo State Park is hosting its annual Eagle Days in honor of the Bald Eagles that winter there. They’ll have all sorts of booths and displays, including the Air Force trained falcons. I went last year and got some great pictures.

I was looking forward to the trip, but it’s been canceled. I guess I’m not the only one hesitant about driving an hour each way on icy roads to be outside in freezing snow. Rather, God had other ideas. Today will be a day at home, catching up on some much-needed housework, perhaps baking bread, and enjoying the fact that Pete is home with me (although he has some projects of his own to distract him). I’ve learned to hold plans loosely. Let it snow!

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