When I was a kid, I remember listening for the snow. At some point in my young life, I had realized that it eliminates some sounds and insulates others. The quiet produced was a sure sign that freedom was mine, and that the next day would be full of frolicking and fun. I trained my ears to hear it, so I wouldn’t have to get out of the warm bed to look out the window. Sleep was restless because a snow day in Atlanta is like Christmas, it doesn’t come very often. In the night, I would roll over and listen for the silence. I didn’t even have to open my eyes. If I heard the absence of suburban noise, my eyes popped open and I ran to the window to see if I had heard correctly. Gazing out over the yard with a blanket of snow sent thrills up my spine. To wait for daylight was agony. Yet, there was something about the solitude of those waiting moments that I kind of liked. The quiet. The sense of peace. The fresh undisturbed blanket of white glowing in the streetlights. All of it seemed quite like a postcard in my mind.
Those brief glimpses were short lived back then. I scrambled to find my snow gear as soon as the sun was up. The laughter and shouts of my neighborhood friends broke the spell, and we spent most of the day riding flattened cardboard boxes down hills. On our brief breaks, hot cocoa awaited us in front of glowing warm fires where winter wear was draped all around trying to dry. After putting fresh newspaper in our shoes to protect our feet from the cold, we were off again to create snow angels and tiny snow people. We didn’t know that other places had sleds, snow boots, and enough snow to create an army. We made do with what we had, and it was magical.
Now, I relish the solitary moments more so than my younger years. I find the undisturbed snow comforting somehow. I find solace in the solitude. It is a place where I recognize I am alone on my journey, but that is not the same as loneliness. It is more a realization that the life path I am walking is my own. It’s just me and God. Friends can support and encourage one another in our travels, but none of us can walk another’s road. Walking in freshly fallen snow is stark, but clean. All the clutter and dirt is covered so that there is a fresh perspective. I find this to be such a powerful picture of the truth that my walk is mine alone. A path just for me. A solitary journey. In the snow morning moments, I contemplate these things. It is my way, to go deep.
I feel as if 2017 has started off heavily for so many. Each life event seems solitary as friends and family navigate different types of crisis moments. Each person on their own road. Each person finding their way as best they can.
The blanket of white outside my window beckons:
Come walk with me.
Listen to me.
There is peace in the quiet.
There is depth in each step.
Be filled on this solitary journey.
Close your eyes and listen to the silence of the solitude.
Let it restore your weary soul.