November is casting its gray shadows where I live. A friend once gave me sage advice: David, I learned a long time ago not to pay homage to the weather. We had been walking across a broad blacktopped parking lot in an Arizona summer. The temperature was well into the one hundred and teens. Jim was older than I, and had lived his entire life in the Arizona desert. My question had been, Jim, does the weather ever get you down?
Now I'm not going to pretend that dark days don't play their games with my outlook. But I will profess that I love this time of year. My son calls winter his favorite season. There is power in resignation and submission. As I often say: God is God, and I am not. Really, when it comes down to it, that settles lots of things.
Our first winter back in Brown County, we didn't have a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get us up the quarter mile hill and to our driveway. There were a few times when, after several runs at it, I had to park at the bottom and walk up the steep incline--in dress shoes--to make it home. The worse part were the times when the hill had started to melt and then re-frozen. A nice glaze of ice makes going downhill an adrenaline rush that you'd rather not have. Especially since at the bottom of the hill is State Highway 46, and 55 MPH traffic. (Finally I had justification to get my Jeep Wrangler!) My Jeep--or as I call it, my vacation between destinations--makes winter much more bearable.
I guess this is my annual appeal to people who love to complain about the weather (or who think there is something not fair about it, or who think life is better where the climate is different), this is my plea for them to consider letting the elements be the elements. Allow the high and low systems to come and go as they will. It feels good to embrace the brace of winter. And then be grateful when you have a warm place to go home to.
I've had to turn down two people this morning who need help with their rent. They may not be so fortunate as to have a warm place to call home this winter. Now that is something I'm tempted to whine about...as I sit in my beautiful and centrally heated church office.