How a blizzard brings to mind one of Jesus’ parables.
One of my favorite parables of Jesus is his story of the ten wise and foolish bridesmaids who await the arrival of a long-delayed bridegroom and his wedding procession. We find it in Matthew 25:1-13.
As I was thinking about the parable recently, my thoughts drifted. I recalled a December blizzard that blanketed our region several years ago. The memory inspired this poem:
It snowed last night.
In the morning light
I gazed upon a vanished landscape
As if a frozen volcano had exploded
And buried all in layers of white ash.
Everything low had disappeared:
The autumn leaves,
The hibernating grass on the brown earth,
The rose bushes that stand sentinel
Against the house wall.
The garden sculptures poked their heads
Out of their snow graves
As if gasping for one last breath.
Sidewalks were gone, so were streets.
One did not know where to avoid
The drain ditches that carry off the rain water.
The groaning trees lifted their branches
Into the air
As if in prayer
To be relieved of their white anxieties.
In a cloudless sky
The sun beamed upon the land
As if a priest were bestowing his blessing.
The land radiated back the benediction.
My eyes could not absorb such beauty.
I had to don dark glasses
When I stepped out to walk the dog.
She tried to dig a pathway
To the lawn, like a locomotive
Pushing its way through a snow-bound mountain pass.
She did not get far. She peed,
Then made a beeline back inside.
As a breeze whiffed over the drift tops,
Worries like snow tumbleweeds spilled into my head.
Would the road get plowed in time
For the school buses to make their rounds?
Would I make it into work?
Blizzards are like Advent.
They demand that we let go,
Take our seat by the gate,
Trim our oil lamps,
And await the coming of the Bridegroom.