Friday, January 13, 2012

A blanket of snow

We had our first real snow in Chicago yesterday. It came late in the season, after shimmering Christmas lights had been taken down and stored away for next year. After the two-week winter break from school, a time when kids typically layer clothing and snowsuits to burrow in the snow, build forts, and come back in and sip steaming hot cocoa, had come and gone. Instead, my kids played outside with their neighbor friends during their time off in sweatshirts and light pants.

The snow started mid-morning. I noticed it falling outside my kitchen window as I rinsed out the breakfast dishes. It clung to the empty tree outside our living room. I hurried to finish my chores and make my phone calls so that I could cuddle up on the sofa with a cup of coffee and watch.

I love how a blanket of snow makes my surroundings beautiful and fresh. It reminds me of beginnings. It reminds me of starting over. It reminds me of redemption.

The snow is important to me because it was on such a day that I first realized four years ago that I was head over heels in love with my little girl who had been born with Down syndrome. Up until that morning I had loved her for sure, but it was more of a duty. I loved with fear. I loved at arms length.

But that morning; a blanketed snow morning when Polly was a baby, she and I played on the floor while the other girls were at school. We looked out the window and watched the bits of cold and ice fall from the sky. She gave me a million slobbery kisses and my heart cracked open with the most unbelievable sunlight I could imagine. It reminded me of when Lucy steps out of the wardrobe into Narnia for the first time.

And now every year the first real snow fall is the closest thing to magic in my life. When the ground is heavy with white I clear my calendar. I leave the laundry for another day. I turn off the computer. I gather my children to me and revel in their love. I thank God for cold places in my life that warrant me the outside-of-myself ability to appreciate the warmth.

I am thankful for a blanket of snow.

(Please note: I have a new website: Thanks!)


  1. Love that. Love your honesty and humble heart to share all of this with us...and so beautifully written! It blesses me.
    Love you!

  2. Hi Gillian,
    Beautiful! I too love the snow and living in the Canadian north I get a lot of it. :)

    A blogger friend of mine directed me to your blog. She alerted me to the fact that you had a blog with a prayer button for Polly. I have noticed that you do not have this button up here and was wondering if you still require specific prayer for your daughter. I have a blog that is directed for prayer and if you have this need I would love to take your button of Polly and place it on my blog. Please let me know. I have subscribed to comments by email.

    God bless and enjoy that snow!


I'd love to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.