Snow Day

Today is a snow day. As a high school English teacher, I “get the day off” which means that I stay home, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t (or shouldn’t) work. In fact, I should be able to power through those sets of essays in my backpack and plan lessons for the second semester to start next week. Yet, it’s nearly one o’clock and I’ve done none of this. A flurry of emails regarding the snow removal in my cooperative community took up much of the morning along with a leisurely perusal of Facebook and the links therein. You really should check out the Rhode Island principal’s school closure YouTube video to the tune of “Let it Go.” And then there’s  Washington Post article about the PARCC assessments and an Illinois’s superintendent’s letter to parents expressing her concerns over the testing. The latter I guess could be considered “for work.” The former is just fun. None of it gets the papers graded.

So now I’m here. But this is important too. My New Year’s Resolution was to write more, and so far, I’ve failed miserably. The whole year is still ahead of me though. It is not a January resolution; it s year’s resolution. So I forge ahead. I will get to those essays today, but I also will take time to create and use the snow day for what it is meant for: rejuvenation. I believe God sent us a mental health day. It would be wrong of me not to take advantage of it. So here it goes.

Last night as I lay awake at 4am listening to the Bobcat clear the driveway–over and over again–I tried to remember the words of Fr. Jim Martin’s “Prayer in a Blizzard” (Check it out on his FB page: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/Fr.%20James%20Martin%2C%20SJ/keywords_top) which he ends with these words: “Give me, most of all, as much patience and cheerfulness as there are snowflakes. And, help me to enjoy, in the midst of my annoyance, the beauty of your creation.” So I thought about the snow. And I thought of James Russell Lowell’s “The First Snowfall” (available here: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/first-snowfall). And I let the snow inspire me to jump up from bed and scratch out a few lines before I finally fell asleep after the plowing stopped.

Snow in the gloaming

Covers the world

In a purity of white

As darkness develops

Into a perfect black night.

A harmony of nature

Stillness and quiet

Black and white come together

To make the world right.

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