Monday, March 10, 2014
Morning Thanks--Spring Sabbath
What's stuck with me after all these years is the way the melt-off flowed down from the hill east of our place, a slow, very gradual descent to a pair of storm sewers on either side of the street, but enough of a slope to create something wide enough to plug. I remember those early spring streams for their seeming purity--winter snow melting a'pace into run off that sparkled in a warm spring sun. We'd couldn't help it--we had to drink it because it looked so pure, even though just beneath it lay a gritty gravelly base you could, easily enough, get between your teeth.
No matter. When the snow melt began, those snow-melt rivulets ran life into souls far too long locked up by winter, as if something in the very heart of things had been madly loosed. Pure and cold and sweet, the run-off on the street always sparkled like a blessing. I'm sure we were told not to drink it, but some temptations tear through every last restraint.
Yesterday was that kind of day, water starting to flow on the river behind us and pooling throughout the field's low spots over a landscape where just last week single-digit temperatures kept everything under a frigid lock and key. Last Sunday, at little church we sometimes attend close by, there were just a few more people in the pew than there were in the choir loft. Before worship, the maestro swung an arm forward, asking the rest of us to come up and join.
But this Sunday, temps shot up almost 60 degrees. Across the field, the geese returned as if their two-week sabbatical (they arrived, then left again when the cold swung back) was itself way too long. Thousands, literally thousands flew over in bands that stretched in endless echelons as far as we could see out back. What snow is left in the shadows outside my window this morning looks creepy, almost villainous.
Yesterday, on the Sabbath, we sat out on the deck, and the grandkids peppered an empty pop can with bbs. It was gorgeous afternoon, a particular species of gorgeous one only experiences here when you've been--as we have--locked up in winter's fist. No one shivered out there beneath an azure sky, freedom itself in the air.
I'd have had to look elsewhere for the kind of melt-off streams I remember years ago, but that same feeling was in the air yesterday--that mad release, that sweet refreshment of a mud-luscious Sabbath for which I'm mightily thankful this morning, winter itself finally lighting out of the territory. Sweet.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 10:41 AM