Gratitude…Even For Snow

Posted on February 4, 2011


( Please keep in mind that I’m almost 50, have been raising 9 children for 23 years, and I was REALLY emotionally and physically exhausted when I wrote this! I really just wanted to play. I do like snow! Promise! )

I know what it is to be and to feel grateful. It’s a feeling of oneness, of peace that lets me know I’m not alone; everything is as it should be in the world. I might not understand it, but I accept it. It means I’m thankful for the gift, good or bad, because there are no mistakes.

But then there’s the snow. I literally and figuratively yell at the snow to go away. Stop! I don’t want to hear a word about gratitude when it’s so old. Sure it’s pretty. But I don’t feel gratitude for it. And a feeling of gratitude is necessary for me, no matter what. Somehow I have to get to that place where I’m not lying when I say I love the snow.

I have to say I had a recurring thought when I was out working in the snow. It was self-centered and angry. I kept asking why my neighbors weren’t helping. Why weren’t they plowing or offering snowblowers? Why wasn’t the old barn-raising concept being applied to clearing driveways?

Why wasn’t I that kind of neighbor?

Again I went to the dictionary to see what was written. I didn’t find anything new until I looked at the synonyms. And I found the answer I didn’t know was there all along.

One of the synonyms is “indebted”.

So,  don’t know what else to say except for what came to my mind.

First, I have to admit that no one in my house has an ounce of gratitude left for the snow…except for 5-yr. old Kenny. He could sled every day, all day. He just doesn’t tire of it. He begs to go out to play WITH someone. It takes a lot to get us out now.

And it’s not just the snow. It’s the dreary days and the bright, blustery days, too.

I needed a new thought.

Indebtedness was it.

When all else fails, when your insides are lost to the negativity, and when you really feel like punching the next person who tells you to cheer up about the beautiful snow, start paying back the debt. The debt incurred by just being human and being allowed to wake up another day, to breathe one more breath, and to be given one more day to spend however you choose.

I looked out my living room window and saw what the snow was actually providing to me if I choose to open my eyes and see it. I see piles in my neighbors’ yards and driveways and on their roofs. I can help. I’ve been given an opportunity to serve and to make friends in the middle of a very stressful time. Funny how muscles ache differently when you’re lightening someone else’s load.

But, I will get tired. And I will need a break no matter how good it feels to help someone out.

Then I’ll play. And it’ll feel different. It always does. It feels like joy that’s earned. I’ll notice the blessing of clarity that comes when I put first things first and remember to have fun, too. I’ll understand better the need to keep things simple so that I can serve others.

And I won’t be yelling AT the snow or its source so often.

When I’m exhausted and think I need a break I’ll remember today when I felt like God said to my mind, “That’s why I keep sending you snow. I heard you beg for the heavens to shut. I heard you say you were tired and were angry at the monotony of it. But, if there hadn’t been so much of it, you wouldn’t have turned around to listen to what I was trying to say.”

I’m listening.

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