Today, foot-deep snow gave a thousand pastors a rare Sunday off, cancelled Super Bowl parties, and caused a few extra babies to be conceived.
Trees also reacted.
Sugar maple had sadly seen all this before. Two of her large brittle intertwining branches snapped and lay at odd angles, suspended between earth and trunk, somehow hopeful that by still being one with the tree they’d be magically grafted back on.
The Douglas fir slumped under the heavy weight. Evergreen branches–ten feet off the ground in fair weather–could now sweep the stocking cap from a grade-schooler’s head. They strained mightily, praying for wind just strong enough to remove snow but not branches.
Bushy round yews transformed themselves into spooky giant cauliflower bunches. In their whiteness, they fancied themselves as a grounded summertime cumulus cloud, paralyzed in time and gravity.
Saplings, dressed in frosted flake finery, waltzed for attention in the slight breeze. The dead linden, a thirty foot stick-trunk, also tried to pull that off. But it was embarrassing. She was the ancient belle of the ball, thinking rouge and cherry lipstick could still seduce. I pitied her.
In a few months, on a motivated yard cleaning Saturday morning, I’ll gather their offerings from this morning’s Sabbath. Their sticks will become kindling for a wiener roast later that night. And white ashes will rise…like snowflakes.