Like most of you reading this — well, at least those in New England — I’ve been too busy to do much blogging recently. My creative and expressive juices were dried up by days of just trying to navigate narrow streets and find a place to park, discern the appropriate level of concern/urgency/panic based on the latest forecast, and attend to children whose school days were cancelled again and again and again.
I love winter. I grew up going skiing in Michigan every February. I have beloved memories of walking across Madison, Wisconsin on a silent, snow-covered night. I adore a good winter retreat — brisk walks through the woods or out onto an ice-covered lake, followed by cocoa near a fire.
But this one has been taxing, even for me. We broke a record yesterday: now it’s officially the 2nd snowiest winter on record in the Boston area. Huzzah.
I do want to share one beautiful moment, however. The photo above is from Shrove Tuesday, when we burned last year’s palms to make ashes for our Ash Wednesday liturgy. This is always a beautiful moment. But this year, a small group of us gathered at dusk around our church’s “holy hibatchi,” which had been dug out of it two-foot snowcone for our use. The wall of snow on all sides muffled the sound of our laughter and our prayers, creating a comforting cushion around us. The reflection of the fire on the snow was simply stunning, a reminder that the Holy Spirit comes to warm and purify and ignite us, even when ice dams threaten to take over our homes and our souls.
Come, Holy Spirit, burn brightly in our tired and frostbitten community. Warm our hearts through this holy season of Lent, and spark in us new joy and unexpected transformation.