We have had the strange experience of starting and ending the year with real winters- snow, ice and cold; weather warning and travel restrictions.
Last winter I had a series of blogs called godisnowhere - which translated to 'God is nowhere', 'God is now here' and, quirkier but relevant at the time, 'God I snow here'. God certainly gets my attention with snow. Despite (in spite of) the inconvenience I love this weather; in this weather I know where I am or, rather, where I would wish to be.
This weather makes me wish for well wrapped up walks with muffled blanket silences and ice-sharp cracks of sound followed by warm and peace-filled conversation or 'feet up with a book' evenings. At least that is what I have been wishing for - but have not been getting.
The duty to work, the duty to shop, the duty to 'christmas' is weighing heavy - and heavier yet because, in this weather - it's just not right. But duty has a way of getting its way; finding alternatives; putting on the pressure to 'carry on regardless'. This 'carrying on' is a worldly concept -a stubborn attempt at not letting circumstances get one over on you. But if God has a hand in it then it is running away and it's dangerous to run in snow.
If I lived further north in the deeper cold or on an island measured by the changing tides then I would hear it more clearly - it is time to join the land in rest; to treat the world with respect; to treat myself gently.
Nevertheless, I hear it.