Monday, December 13, 2010
The weather here during the last week has been the quintessential embodiment of Southern State winters: a long belt of frigid and bone-dry days broken, when the temperature finally edged above freezing, by pitiful showers of icy rain.
This region is often snow-starved despite prolonged stretches of bitter cold, but last Friday we received a glorious surprise.
This paltry dusting--which took until December 10th to arrive--was nothing special, and must certainly seem irrelevant to my many Northern readers used to far harsher climes, but for us it had significance. When you've suffered through a freezing couple of months without so much as an ounce of snow, you'll take what you can get.
Friday's sprinkling of white was not the only sign of the season.
On Saturday, December 4th, thousands of heavily layered people converged on Mountain Town's Main Street to enjoy the annual Christmas Parade.
Young men resplendent in white carrying gleaming bronze instruments, teenage girls wielding fluttering scarlet banners, town council members in an open wooden cart, and countless others (some of them on horseback) processed through streets and waved to the thick crowds on either side.
The sound of cheering intermingled with the Christmas music playing over the town's PA system.
Mountain Town, with its festive decorations, isn't the only place that's been bedecked lately.
This has always been my favorite time of year. As the landscape outside deadens but, typically, offers no sheen of white to redeem the sunless skies and leafless trees, we turn for cheer to our homes, the sparkling Yuletide realms of our own creation.
At the holiday's approach, I try as much as I can to dismiss my worries, which the logical part of me knows I have amplified but which vex me nonetheless. I focus on the fine food, and my friends, and visits to family. I focus on heartwarming music and the birth of my Savior, and the many small things that I have to occupy my time and draw forth my gratitude.