Friday, January 14, 2011

A Carolina Blizzard

     When in snows in the South, the world stops spinning and everything comes to a silent halt.  It is quiet, it is hushed, it is as slow and sleepy as life can get. You won't hear the grind of snowplows scraping against ice in search of asphalt. You won't see highway trucks spewing salt and chemicals up and down the highways. Anxious neighbors won't be hurriedly shoveling sidewalks and steps. Everything stops, as if time itself has become frozen, and we watch, and we marvel, and we wonder at the beauty of a world put to sleep with a blanket of white.

   If you thought Southerners moved at a different speed during normal weather, spin the thermostat down to freezing, throw in some snowflakes and ice, and you will see a pace of life not known to man in this modern-day age of hyper-speed and constant activity. You may laugh at our slowness, you may mock our simplicity, but we will smile politely because the joke is not on us. 
 We will not miss the irridescent red of a cardinal as he feeds in the brilliant white of a winter snow. We will not miss the cluster of crimson pyracantha berries as they glisten against a mantle of ice, or the green leathery leaves of the magnolia as it stands magnificantly draped in a silvery gown. We will regard the cedars as they bow to the ground, and hold our breath as we wait for the thaw to see which of those mighty soldiers will rise again.
     An average little town becomes a story book village. The soft covering of winter's frozen breath has transformed the mundane into the magnificent. Houses grand and small are dressed for a wondrous occasion, and they each wear their new gowns with a pride not seen in many years.. It makes us all step back and puff our chests as we gloat at the beauty of our home, our formally dressed little city. This is our moment to shine, so we stop, and we watch, and we wonder at the beauty of it all.
    When it snows in the South, we will be there to witness it and to enjoy it. It comes not often and we will not let this moment pass unnoticed. With a graciousness that lingers on, we will stop our busy lives and enjoy the company of the snow, visiting with it while it lingers, then fondly bidding it adieu when it disappears. This is our storm, our snow, our South, and we will not be hurried through an experience that will be too long in returning again.

     This is a Southern storm, a Carolina Blizzard, a storm that meanders across the lowland states and lingers and pauses and stays for a while.  It is like us... slow to come, slow to leave. We take it as the gift it is...a time to stop, and to watch, and to wonder at the beauty of it all. Oh, don't laugh at us, with our slowness and our drawling words, for we are revelling in a beauty that is missed by many, and it takes that wound-down pace to see it and to tell it and to appreciate it all.
     So don't laugh at us when it snows in the South. We are not ignorant. We are not lazy or simple or backwards. We are simply marvelling at the world, and we will not miss out on it's beauty. We are slow because we refuse to hurry and miss the moment-- the miracle of a world at rest, a world of peace and quiet. We calm our thoughts in the hush of the storm, we fill our lungs with the pure, clean air, we restore our souls with the peace of winter.

       Yes, we step slowly through our Southern storm, our Carolina Blizzard. We do not hurry, we do not rush, and  we do not miss the world at peace, the world at rest.
     We simply watch, we wonder, and we marvel at the beauty of it all.

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