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February 2010
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A Snowy Walk to Church

The snow was one of those ultra-fine powders that is a mere glitter in the air rather than proper snow flakes. Not much had accumulated. There was a bare fraction of an inch coating the ground as I left to walk to church. I was late, Howard and the kids had gone ahead of me. I could see the separate trails of footsteps leaving from our door and tracking off down the cul de sac. It was like one of those “guess what made these prints” books. I stepped lightly, making toe-heel impressions with my boots. Winter is not my favorite, but this was beautiful. Even this light coating of snow dampened the normal sounds of my suburban neighborhood. I looked up for a moment, letting snow sparkles fall onto my face. I listened to the hush. Then I followed the trails of footprints toward the church building.

I saw the scuffs and shuffles of my two youngest, their feet leaving evidence of snow joy. Howard’s long stride was all focused, except where a print turned to connect with the prints of a child. All the trails had started out separate, but the closer we got to the building, the more the footsteps overlapped. My family’s footprints were not the only ones anymore. They were mixed with dozens of other footprints, all heading the same direction. Those not headed to church at that early hour were keeping their footprints indoors.

I passed a bush with fingernail sized leaves. Each curled leaf had caught a little pile of snow. The bush looked like a child holding up a hundred handfuls of snow. See? Isn’t it pretty?
Yes. It is beautiful. I can see that it is beautiful. I can appreciate it, but I’m also very glad that poking through that fraction of an inch of snow are the first sprouts of Spring bulbs. March is almost here.

The glitters on my scarf turned into water droplets moments after I entered the warm church building. I hung up my coat to wait for the return trip. Then I went into the meeting to contemplate less visible, but no less wonderful, creations.

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