First snow

firstsnow
We went to service against the wet, white wind,
our cheeks blushing at its advances.
And my daughter asked if there would be snow, and my son repeated the sound.
Mommy said maybe.

In the front of the warm wood sanctuary they lit flames of hope
Atop the heads of purple pillars (and I wondered again why the one was pink),
While snaking down the minister’s stoll were merry signs of threaded gold,
uncoiling on fields of white.

And You talked and we sang of silence,
The moments distilling drop by drop upon each other, upon thirsty tongues.
In those moments we forgot the weariness and worry,
or maybe we gained strength to face it.
Word and Sacrament, a duo of grace…

She colors a picture of Mary,
Who was not much older than her,
laying her new baby into a soft bin of straw.
Everyone smiles in these pictures.
Her little brother screams a lot, so Jesus must look like an angel.
I wonder if she’s envious, but probably she just likes coloring.
I wonder what she will be at thirteen.

After song and word and bell,
There’s treats for the old and treats for the young –
His favorite part of church.
He bears a crumpled cookie in each hand and wonders as he wanders.
I sip church coffee for the warmth.

And glancing outside, we suddenly see white.
A present magic grows in every tiny chest and many an old heart.
Children crowd at windows, fogging them with warm cookie breath and exclaiming:
Snow!

When we left,
Coat-bundled to keep in the heat,
My son suddenly understood this stuff
And raised chubby fingers skyward in awe,
To catch the moment.

I thought to myself
that the prayers we need answered most aren’t even the ones we utter,
And the blessed manna fell like so many starclusters to the blacktop lot,
And it was an answer.

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