During the early hours of November 9, the winds blew in the first snow of the season. The snowfall was surprising; waking up to the chilly billowy blanket prompted spontaneous glee. A native “up north” Michigander, I can never hold back celebrating the first snow.
Quickly, though, the date sank in. This day was supposed to be the 55th wedding anniversary for mom and dad. Dad’s passing on September 11 is very fresh. Though he was 88, he died as a result of head trauma after a fall, so his sudden death was unexpected. As the day progressed, I wavered between joy for the snow and sadness for mom and dad. Additionally, my California family and friends were under wildfire siege after the tragic Thousand Oaks shootings. The wickedly warm Santa Ana winds prodded Southern California fires to spread quickly while NoCal suffered deeply from its own firestorm. The day was a tough one. Memories of dad, fear for my loved ones and concern for mom kept my stomach in knots all day… except when I walked the trails around my house or caught a glimpse of the pretty snowscape from my windows throughout the day. I am thankful the snow stayed through the night.
Today, we’re back to November brown; the shade between the last of autumn’s pretty palette and Aslan’s Narnia. My California loved ones are safe and the fires are somewhat contained. I am hopeful the brave teams of firefighters will be able to rest soon.
I am very thankful for our Great Lakes. The five giant bodies of fresh water provide protection from major weather catastrophes. As long as the snow keeps falling and nature keeps sharing its comfort, I have hope.