Covered and blanketed in eight plus inches of snow. We just had an epic snowfall in the south and it’s a big deal! In 20 years of living in Atlanta, I have never experienced this much snow. As a former northerner, I was thrilled. Nothing says peace and serenity to me like the morning after a snowfall. There is a stillness and tranquility that is felt deep within. I fill my lungs with the cold, crisp air, close my eyes and exhale.
The snow doesn’t last long here. Temperatures rise and snows dissipate. In the shady areas it lingers a little longer and it reminds me that the snow made an appearance. Many of the trees and shrubs didn’t fare well. The heaviness of the snows folded them over like an origami project. Branches and trees snapped under the weight, shrubs were hidden and unrecognizable.
There is a man who lives down the street who takes pride in his garden – you can tell. He is often out tending and caring for his plants. Earlier this week he was removing the snow off some recently planted shrubs. A few months back, I was walking past his home when he was planting these new shrubs. He meticulously dug the holes and carefully installed each plant. We chatted that day, when it was warm and sunny and planting was a good idea.
The warmth of the fall months has long passed and the remanent of snow covers these young, tender shrubs. I watched as he gingerly removed the snow off each one. He was careful not to cause damage. I struck up conversation. “We sure did get a lot of snow.” He looked up and smiled. “We sure did.” I asked if he thought the shrubs would recover. He told me they should. He went on to say that the shrubs on the other side of his yard, those in the sunlight, bounced right back. These in the shade need a little more help. We chatted a bit more and he went on with his work. I went on with my walk.
“These in the shade need a little more help…” I have felt like one of those newly planted shrubs as of late, covered and blanketed. As I shared last month, I am in a season of being stretched and grown. Sometimes I feel smothered by the weight of all that is new, unknown and uncomfortable. Have I been hiding in the shade? I wonder. Have I forgotten to stand in the sun and be comforted by its warmth? Maybe. Did I forget to ask for help? Possibly. Did I rely too much on myself? Most likely.
I look for my Caretaker. He is standing by, as he always is. I ask him to shake off the heavy snows that cover me, that blanket me. He gingerly brushes off the weight and the sun breaks through.