Photo by Karen Streveler, OSB, of how the monastery campus should look, but doesn't
I don’t come from Minnesota. I come from England. We have snow in England but it’s wet, heavy snow which comes and goes in the space of a few days or, at most, weeks. It’s certainly not up to the high standard of a Minnesota snowfall. I love dry Minnesota snow. It seemed like a real miracle the first time I got snow in my boots here. Scenes of jubilation – there was time to tip it out of the boots before my socks got wet!
I should come clean, I am a snow addict. If there was snow all year, I’d be happy. And when I first came to Minnesota I really thought I’d found an almost perfect winter climate. This is how it was. Every morning I would wake up to a beautiful dawn, the sun would climb up into the sky and there’d be that perfect contrast between blue sky and pure-white, diamond-dotted snow. The highs were always in the mid-20s, so every afternoon, I’d put on my down coat and my boots and go out for a lovely invigorating walk in the woods. About once a week, there’d come a snowfall so that everything remained looking pristine and pure, no dirty slush ever offended the eye.
I’m now experiencing my 12th Minnesota winter and nothing has ever quite matched up to that first one. Sadly, I’ve come to accept that it can’t be like that every year. But I still do get very excited when the first snowfall happens. It was a good one this year, but I did have the nagging feeling that because it was wet snow, it might behave like English snow and disappear.
It did and I am now grumpy because of it. Warm temperatures and rain have conspired to remove all but a few traces of the glorious white stuff. Left behind is a rather depressing colorless remnant of fall. I feel colder than I do when it snows because, although the absolute temperature is quite high, above freezing, it’s a damp cold that’s left behind which seeps into the fiber of my being.
It had better snow properly (as I would term it) soon, and stay snowy, or I am going to be one grumpy nun for the foreseeable future!
Karen Rose, OSB