For thirty glorious minutes this week, I lived inside a snowglobe. It started just before I picked my daughter up from school—big, soft, fluffy flakes filling the air and spiraling quietly down. They got bigger, thicker, as I drove and by the time I reached school and got her buckled in a magical transformation had taken place. We were both giddy. We made plans to play in the snow as soon as we got home and she sang contentedly to herself on a loop the whole way.
If all the snowflakes
Were candy bars and milkshakes,
Oh, what a snow it would be!
I'd stand outside with my mouth open wide.
We were less than three minutes from our driveway and could almost taste the snow when I realized—the snow had given way to freezing rain. My six-year-old was heartbroken. If I'm completely honest, so was I. I tried to avert the inevitable, pointing out a few scrappy flakes that still remained, but it was too late for my sensitive girl. She had given herself over to pitiful, gut-wrenching tears. Disappointment is hard at any age, but especially when we're so little.
I wished, oh how I wished that I had stopped the car, pulled over while the snow was still sifting down, and just reveled in it, and her, and our joy.
It's so easy to miss the magic, isn't it? We make our plans and we think the good things we're holding off on will keep until we're ready. We think the things we're anticipating will work out just as we expect. And sometimes they will, they do. But not always. Sometimes we miss what's right in front of us.
We're in a weird little pocket of time right now. The pomp and splendor of Pentecost feel very far away, and the rest of the world seems to move right on to Christmas as soon as the Halloween candy runs out. The season of Advent is coming (and I'm so ready for it), but it's not here yet. In fact, the weeks between All Saints' Day and Advent form a kind of mini-season—a Pre-Advent, if you will—that focuses on Jesus' return to glory as our king and judge, and on the gift of everlasting life that is ours through his cross and resurrection. We are still in Ordinary Time, and these days are just as special, just as sacred.
So while I'm jotting down some notes about how I want to approach Advent this year, and pulling a few things down from the attic to get ready, I'm also reminding myself to be present to what is instead of rushing ahead to what will be...to catch snowflakes on my tongue before they pass away, to savor glimpses of eternity, and to glory in these holy moments.
May we walk slowly and intentionally through the rest of this season together,