Ancient Enemies

The blitz came hard and fast.

It was anticipated, but the force and speed still made an impact. One day temperatures are in the 50’s and we’re wearing t-shirts; the next the temperature is 20 and snow has locked everything and everyone down.

It’s an easy truce we have between snow and life here in the Midwest. Snow is a vicious partner, knowing and exploiting its upper hand over life. Life endures, knowing that Snow cannot reign forever. There will be a delay, yes, but life here knows the setback is temporary. The plows will come, salt and sand will be laid, and life simply adjusts to these increasing time requirements.

With snow, we slow down. We go out less; stay in more. Spend more time with family. Help shovel the neighbor’s driveway. Check on that driver by the side of the road. It seems we only become truly human when we are oppressed by the almighty forces of winter.

Which brings me to…well…me. Cold and snow awaken something raw and untamed in me that slumbers most of the year. Which is why–while everyone else is playing Yahtzee in front of their fireplaces–I am trekking through this winter wonderland.

Snow envelops my obscured shape, blurring vision. Shards of ice are hurled into my skin. My defiance dares the wind to blow harder, the cold to bite more severely. Clusters of winter’s worst knot my beard.

And I know I am strong. This foe, Winter’s Snow, is one I have battled my entire life. It shall not overcome me. It is dangerous, to be sure; but it is impotent against me. This is not a battle it will win. Not today, anyway.

My spouse is confident I am insane. She may be right. But I am a survivor. I have taken on Winter’s Snow and I have conquered by a combination of will, defiance, and Divine Grace.

I say a prayer of thanks for my enemy, Snow, for it has made me stronger. Come what may, I am strong enough to overcome. Will, defiance, and Divine Grace has carried me this far. And it will carry me until tomorrow. That, for today, is enough.

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