15 August 2011

Nothing if not generous!

Yesterday I posted about having a lifelong wish (seeing falling snow) granted in my own backyard. Well, obviously lifelong wishes are being granted with interest at present, because New Zealand is in the grip of the biggest snowstorm/polar blast in over 50 years. I wasn't at work today due to a close personal encounter with the ends of a 24-hour tummy bug, so I missed seeing snow falling in central Wellington (including Lambton Quay - there is a stunning photo on Stuff of snow swirling around the Beehive!), but I did see near-whiteout conditions in my own backyard.

After we picked our daughter up from school, we went for a very cautious drive up the Hutt Valley to Te Marua, where the snow was about 5-10cm deep, and played for a short time in it - only short because the snow falling was getting heavier and we were concerned about getting home again. But it was long enough to have a furious snowball fight and build a (small) snowman (I have had a snowball fight before - once on the Desert Road with a friend of mine - but never built a snowman!). Our place is completely white, and the driveway is a slush-fest, which I guess is variation on its usual mudbath at this time of year!

And it snowed in Auckland today. That hasn't happened in nearly a hundred years, or so Metservice reckons. Lots of us are revelling in the novelty of snow, but the South Island and central North Island high country is struggling, there are rolling power cuts (we've even had a few ripple cuts here, just flashing out for a second or so and then coming back), vehicle crashes, stranded travellers at airports and in cars, and general chaos. But for me: it's magical. Snow in Naenae. Who'd'a thunk it?

What strikes me is how different snow is to rain. It settles, it blows up and down like little feathers, and it's so quiet. Now I realise this is not news to those who live in places where snow is a regular hassle in winter, but for me it's a complete novelty. You can hardly see it, but then you can see it changing everything it touches. I've been reflecting on the snow alongside Lady Day and have been thinking that falling snow is a bit like God - it's quiet, subtle, goes everywhere, and it changes and transmutes everything from the prosaic into the spectacularly beautiful, and you can hardly see it happening. May our lives be like little snowflakes blown on the wind of God, changing and beautifying everything they touch!

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