Snow. February 2013, Virginia.

I am not a huge fan of snow. It wasn’t always this way. As a young child in Georgia, I only ever even saw the stuff once or twice, and it was pure fairytale when it happened. We moved north when I was still in elementary school, but the snow’s new commonness didn’t dull its magic. Even in my twenties, in New York City, I still fell for it hard – the way it softened the avenues, and in a way also softened us city folk to one another, as we all hunkered down with scarves and paper cups of coffee against the bitter winds on subway platforms, chastened for a spell by a force bigger than our busyness. As the thermometer dropped my first winter there, I took to walking everywhere I could; I’d had a rough winter the year before and figured the best path to a happy February was to be out there in the thick of it.

I don’t know where I lost the love. I just know that since leaving New York, when the snow falls – and here in central Virginia, sometimes that is every week or two during the winter and sometimes it is almost not at all – I am grateful for hot coffee and a blazing fire and the couch.

So. It snowed here this weekend. We were packing, furiously, and certainly I looked out the windows as I scuttled about the house with moving boxes and old letters and more coffee and more bags for Goodwill. That’s pretty I thought. Oh look I thought, it’s still coming down. But just as quickly I’d turn back to the boxes.

I don’t know what made me really see it. I was standing at a sink, drying my hands. I was looking through a west-facing window, at the giant oak near the house and at the old Paulownia and younger redbuds behind it and at the greenhouse behind them all. It was all very pleasant. But then my gaze fixed on the flakes not two feet in front of me, and then – it was all very quiet. I wasn’t thinking about how much there is to do in the next two weeks. I wasn’t wondering when the farm will sell. I wasn’t daydreaming about paint colors in the new house. There was only snow. I put down my hand towel and watched. The flakes were big and they were coming down hard, swirling just like maple seed pods.

The weekend – indeed, the whole last week – has been like that. That is: we leave in two weeks and there is much unresolved. Some of it will feel settled the minute our small caravan pulls onto the highway that first Monday morning in March. But we are months away – at best – from a truly clean start.

And yet: grace. Grace in the tireless focus and good cheer of my mother, who must have packed forty boxes of books single-handedly in addition to helping me turn all my mountains into molehills. Grace in the rusty nails and old linoleum and grace in every trip my father took to Lowe’s for more moving boxes, more plumbing supplies, more lumber. Grace in the laughter of our friends who came midweek bearing lasagna, bread, salad, and wine. Grace in the pot of soup shared with more friends the following night. Grace in the unexpected box of so-very-much-needed treats in the mail. Grace in our little guy’s sudden calm about the move. Grace in the smiling arrival of an old old friend who will farmsit for us for the next several months. Grace in Season 1 of Friday Night Lights. Grace in a pint of Newcastle and in paper trays piled high with chicken wings. Grace in the hum of the dryer, the warble of the coffee pot, the rising of the biscuits, the quiet of the snow.

(joining Amanda at The Habit of Being)

13 thoughts on “Weekending

  1. abbie {tractormOM}

    There is grace in snow. In the winter months where all things lie dormant, quiet, but ever rustling delicately. There is a stillness. A silence. A magical depth that comes with snow. And you my friend, I have no doubt, shall embrace all these things with grace once you gift the northeast with your presence again. I need your new address and I need to know when you actually arrive. I so desperately wish to be waiting on your doorstep for a hug and a shoulder when you arrive. I want you to know that though it is cold here, you will be enveloped in warmth nonetheless….

    1. Lisa

      Oh also, do you know this quote from Andrew Wyeth?

      “I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape – the loneliness of it – the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it – the whole story doesn’t show.”

  2. amanda

    i love this lisa. love how you were able to push aside the doubts, worries, busy demands to find grace in small moments, meals shared…you know what coach taylor would say, “clear head. full heart. can’t lose.” there is so much truth in that, isn’t there?

  3. Julia Timmons

    We got nary a bit of snow in Lynchburg. Made me kinda sad. You see, since I have gone to work for LC we have had snow every single weekend but this one. Last weekend it did come on Saturday and was not much, but it came. It seems most around us got snow. One person I work with said you could drive down 29 and literally at the airport the ground was covered, just this side of it there was nothing. Sigh! I love the snow. I love the quiet of it and peace it seems to bring. I love the light blanket on all of nature’s surfaces. I love how clean it is at first. I LOVE how my dogs love it, shoving their noses in it and chasing snowballs and bringing them back and running around like spring fever has struck. Thanks for the photo!

    I am still hoping we can have a time to get together with you and family, Susanna and Macy. Susanna is sick so we need to see how she progresses through this week. She works Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Macy is with her Dad. I was thinking it might be fun for us to come and bring dinner the night Sara comes to help you pack. I have forgotten when that will be…I tried to call and left messages. I have messaged you on FB but sometimes my messages do not go through. Let me know. Hang in there.

    1. Lisa

      I love the quiet of it too — that’s something I haven’t lost the love for. But I’m hoping I’ll get back to loving being out there in it.

      See you soon!!

  4. nicole

    Oh, snow. Sigh. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen it … Best to you in these hectic days: you seem like you definitely have it under control, and have your eye on the important stuff. You got this!


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