Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Frosting in the Northeast

I wrote and posted this post on In the Warm Hold last night and then it occoured to me that it really belonged here as well. As I've said many times, I try not to cross post too much because what's the point then? But I started this post thinking it'd be a picture post for the regular blog and it spiraled into a bunch of my thoughts on staying and leaving and beauty and difficulty, which is the kind of post I like to share in this space. It actually occurred to me awhile back that there are a handful of post here that I want there as well and a handful there that I want here, so I'll be doing a little reposting. More on that later, though...

We got our first real, big snow a few weeks back. They were predicting we'd get a lot more and people were kind of going crazy worrying about the "historic blizzard". Well, mostly Minnie. I got this frantic email from her about it, warning us to stock up and prepare for the electricity to go out (not really a concern in our massive complex). Between ISIS, the "riots" Fox News convinced them have been happening here for the last four months, and this I'm almost sure I'm going to come home to a couple of patients with massive stomach ulcers. [Mick's comfort item is his Pepto bottle, FYI.]

But also I actually saw someone comment on a friend's Instagram that she was in the Trader Joe's in Brooklyn and there was a woman griping about them being out of goat's milk and organic kale. Because those are necessities in a weather emergency right? If you're a North Brooklyn hipster, they sure are. So the fear was real. Even for the Yankees.

Anyway, I was so excited Peyton had the day off. It was a real experience. We thought we'd head over to an adjoining neighborhood to catch some friends sledding, but we realized quickly that was not happening (some areas hadn't been plowed yet). So we just walked to our little neighborhood park. We did spot a bus with chains all around its tires, which I thought was interesting. So much I didn't even think about before living here.

The snow at the park was basically untouched. It was soft and fluffy and perfect. Cold, but as perfect as six inches of frozen matter can be. There's still a good bit of snow on the ground, but these days it's brown and hard as a rock.

I wonder if when we get home, I'll remember the snow as a freezing cotton ball of beauty or as my rock hard nemesis- a potential danger at worst, an annoyance at best. I sort of hope it remains the former in my memory, although that might bring some heartache so maybe it's best if I remember the most of the time (hard, brown) reality. I don't know, even if the snow remains pure and perfect in my reflections, I feel confident the hardships of Winter are etched on my memory. It is clear to me that my body wasn't made for this climate and this Winter I've wondered if my soul maybe wasn't either.

Last Winter I took to it so easily. I was talking with Minnie about why and I think a lot of it was knowing that a good bit of Winter had already passed when we moved. And knowing how much fun we'd have in the warmth if we were having that much fun in the cold.

But I also was God's grace. I have a friend and it's almost a running joke now how much I've been attributing to the Lord's grace lately. I think, for some reason, it's just become much more evident to me and I see Him in the details more. And as I look back on those early days here, equally cold if not colder than the days I've been surviving lately, I know it was. Because my first six weeks here had been this tough and this bitter and this cold? If they had left me so physically dry and so emotionally isolated? I don't know that I ever would have let my heart love this place like it did.

But here I am. Loving the place to the point of grieving our departure in a pretty intense way already. Loving it so much that I often tear up thinking back over our adventures here. Loving it in spite of the chaffing lonely parts and loving it because of the soothing words and friendly faces that ease that pain and discomfort. 

I know I'll remember the hard things about this journey and the beautiful ones. I'll likely remember the snow both on the days we played in it, fresh fallen and pure and the days I shuffled around it, hard and ugly and a hazard particularly for my small people.

I'll remember Brooklyn as a difficult dirty place to live and also as the setting of one of the most incredibly beautiful adventures of my adult life. I'm thankful for both, actually, because both have transformed me and I know I'll never be the same. And I'll treasure the memories of both in my heart.