Monday morning, about mid-morning, I saw something glorious. The bright, yellow, warming sun peeked through my window, and I got a little giddy. I opened the other blinds and let the soul-rejuvenating rays find their way into the house, creating a warm glow in my body, one that foretells the coming of spring.
To set the scene up a bit, I have to tell you that we live in a cabin, two-story, but the second story is only on one half of the house, which leaves the living and dining rooms open all the way to the second-floor ceiling. The upstairs has an open hallway overlooking the first level, with bedrooms off of that. On the far wall of this open area is a triangular window where I viewed the rays of sunshine yesterday.
The window blinds I opened are on the opposite wall, at my back as I sit at the dining room table working.
OK, now that the scene is set, let me continue.
As I worked away, I noticed that my friend, my soul-brightener, was fading and being replaced by the gray sky that has blanketed our little town for too many weeks. Don’t go, I plead. Stay just a little while. I didn’t get to enjoy you enough. Isn’t that just the way it is? You don’t appreciate something until it’s gone.
Even though I prefer to write at the dining room table, if I simply twirl my chair around, I have a desk directly behind me, against the wall, beneath the aforementioned window. I keep everything I need on the desk, except the coffee pot, which lives on the kitchen counter and often works overtime.
When I saw that the sun was fading away, my heart began to sink, but I continued working, until I spun to get a piece of paper off my desk. Out the window was a shocking scene. Moments ago, my buddy had been shining through the trees and in my window, and now, large snowflakes were rapidly blanketing all the trees and surfaces in sight.
My heart sank.
By evening, when we left for the boys’ varsity basketball game, the snow had found a home and begun to move in its friends and family. By the time we left the game, talk was beginning to speculate whether or not there would be school and pondering how slick the roads were.
And then it came. That sound that can pull even the deepest sleeper out of slumberland. The ring that, at 5:52 a.m., can only be bad news about a family member, or Mr. Shaffer, the school superintendent, letting us know that school is canceled for the day and asking that we spread the word through our online news source.
A snow day.
This is a glorious event for those who enjoy piling on layer after layer of clothes and rolling around in the white, cold mess. Building snowmen and sledding down hills. Getting red-faced and watching each breath exhale in a white puff.
I’m not one of these people. By the time I’d get bundled up and walk outside, I’d be ready to seek the sanctuary of a warm, cozy house.
I try not to complain much about the weather, because I figure when it’s 90 degrees this summer and sweltering hot, so miserable that breathing becomes an oppressive chore, I will be wishing I was surrounded by a white covering of icy precipitation and huddled beneath a cozy fleece.
Despite that, I want to share a thought with you.
A thought of one of my favorite places.
A place that many of you may love, as well.
The beach. The place where you hear the seagulls cawing as they fly overhead and sit in the hot, grainy sand that, even if you’re very careful, still seems to find its way in your shorts or bathing suit.
The place where you bask in the warm sun beating down on your face, eyes closed, thanking God for all the sounds and sights and blessings and magnificent creations.
The place where the ocean beats against the shore in roaring waves and retreats quietly back into the depths, before repeating the process, more massive than before.
The place that reeks of salty, fishy smells, which, amazingly, are not as offensive as they would be in our own kitchens after an especially fragrant seafood dinner.
I could sit there all day.
To feel the tingling of my skin (appropriately slathered up with sunscreen, of course) absorbing the refreshing, soul-cleansing power of our orbiting epicenter.
On this snow day, this cold, gray day, I’d like to bring a little bit of sunshine to your day. Please enjoy this video of one of my favorite places, my birthplace, Oceanside, California.
Just don’t wish away the snow too quickly, because the humid, suffocating heat of summer will be here before we know it.