Natalie Ogbourne

I wrote this last winter but I couldn’t bear to post one more piece about snow. Winter had been too long and too deep.

Summer always brings a day, usually in August, when I step outdoors and know that I will again be ready for snow. This is not that day. This strangely cool summer may not even give me one, but winter is long enough past to allow the enjoyment of its memory.

Flakes were flying when I arrived at the orthodontist. Both ground and sky were clear twenty minutes later when I walked out of the office and into the nearby Panera. After just a few minutes of quiet reading, I looked up to discover that everything – the parking lot, the cars, and the trees – were coated with snow. Within a moment I packed and headed to my vehicle, and in the few feet between it and the restaurant found myself covered with the same slippery snow that clung to the road.

The swirling squall delivered a blizzard’s whiteout to the streets of Des Moines, so I sought refuge in another Panera. I had books and pens and my iPad, which would usually be enough to keep me occupied for days, but a cold booth and a bagel are poor substitutes for home and the white chicken chilli that my daughter was so excited to make for our family’s dinner.

From a seat chosen for its view, I watched the huge flakes pelt the earth and I understood. For the first time, I knew that regardless of its beauty and wonder, I had to set aside my romantic notions and admit that I’ve been wrong. Snow is not always welcome.

The concept of seasons has wound around and in and out of my mind for the past thirteen years and wedged like a stone in my soul last autumn. A surprise snow, an unexpected blizzard, delivered a new perspective: Even a season’s silver linings are sometimes hard to bear.

How about you? Does your current season have silver linings? Are any of them hard to bear?


Sharing Silver Linings with KelliHolley and Lyli.