Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
December 13, 2016
The first real snowstorm of the year for eastern Newfoundland has now come. Today was a “snowday” for many with closures and delays all over the region. Mount Pearl, where I live, saw quite a build-up in places and I rather enjoyed my afternoon of shoveling and snowblowing. My son, Ben, is home for a few days and we took care of things quite nicely and then the two of us cleared out a neighbour who is on her own these days. Along the way I spoke with the postman and another neighbour who was also digging out.
Over my last 21 winters in Mount Pearl I’ve moved tons of snow and believe me when I say that Mount Pearl gets snow. It has something to do with the elevation of the city and I am always amused at the change in climate when I leave here for St John’s or CBS. More than once I have had several inches of snow to deal with here and then drive to Synod Office to see bare ground. I still remember one of the guys who moved us from Arnold’s Cove to Mount Pearl in 1995 asking where my snowblower was before he closed up the truck. I told him I didn’t own one. “You will,” he said. He was right.
I enjoy winter and I love Mount Pearl. This city has been good to my family and me and I have been rector of both Anglican parishes here. There is not a street here I have not visited one time or another over the years. Because it is a fairly young town many of us in Mount Pearl have moved here from somewhere else and I suspect that pretty much every community in Newfoundland and Labrador is represented here. It has been said that Mount Pearl is “the biggest outport in Newfoundland” with some justification.
The winter storms we get here have a way of encouraging community by bringing us all out of our homes and onto the streets to clear things away. Many conversations are held in between bouts of snowclearing and moving vehicles around. Neighbours look out for each other and more than once I’ve come home to find my driveway cleared by one of them and more than once I’ve done the same. You can meet the most special people outdoors in winter in Mount Pearl. And not only when it’s snowing: in Mount Pearl we even have a Frosty Festival every February, and the Church of the Shepherd holds an outdoor service of Carols and Lessons in their Labyrinth every December. Take that Old Man Winter!
And so as the winter finally begins in force across this province let’s all plan to take it in stride and really plan to look out for each other. Let’s slow down on the roads (“never ever trust your brakes in the winter,” I always told my boys when they were learning to drive) and slow down in other ways as well. Make time to talk with that neighbour who is outdoors alongside you and especially keep an eye on that person who is alone or sick or a senior who really needs a little help with their snow this year. With every act of kindness the blessing really does flow two ways, from the giver to the receiver, and from the receiver to the giver. And I honestly don’t know who gets the greater blessing.
Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold,
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord,
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
(From A Song of Creation, The Book of Alternative Services, p. 83) With my every blessing, +Geoff