By Rev. Alan Mead
It has been cold outside. Record breaking cold throughout much of the East and Midwest, with record snowfalls in the Northeast. It seems we hardly have a chance to catch our breath and a new onslaught of weather comes marching in.
I have seen many photos posted by friends on FaceBook, and I am amazed at how stunningly beautiful the aftermath of these winter storms has been in photos. Photos of backyard scenes with someone standing in the middle of a narrow pathway, with the snow up over their head. Photos of city streets with cars still covered and surrounded by snow and ice, with a narrow, mostly pedestrian pathway, with perhaps enough room for a small emergency vehicle to wind its way through.
As amazing and beautiful as winter snow and ice look in photos, and probably later in memory, it has also been costly. Some have died or been seriously injured. Many have lost property. Communities struggle with paying extra costs for snow removal and infrastructure repair that will come in the spring.
We live on the coast in Virginia and haven’t had the snow; but we have had near hurricane force winds and a constant barrage of Nor’easter’s along with record low temperatures. We have seven buildings in our condo community and three of them, affecting 9 units, have suffered major damage from burst fire suppression sprinkler systems. With the temps going down into the teens again tonight I wonder if I will awaken in the middle of the night with high pressure water flooding everything.
I also have good friends who look forward to this weather and enjoy nothing more than taking ski trips. It has been a great season for that.
For myself, I have turned on the gas fireplace, settled myself in a comfortable rocker, and imagine summer sun and breezes while I enjoy this moment, keeping one eye on the flames and another on the sprinkler head that is in the center of the room.