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Anticipation

Enough light has slanted our way–I can see its pink edge over the eastern ridge– so that the dark night has been pushed aside, and from my dining room window I can see the form of wind-whipped trees as they bend from the power of the approaching storm. We will have rain today, perhaps thunderstorms. Tonight the arctic storm that is moving down from Alaska will drop four to six inches of snow at this level in our mountains, with much more predicted for the higher elevations.

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I’ve been anticipating this storm from the time many days ago when its trajectory was unclear and the weather prognosticators were saying maybe. I gather storms, especially those whose clouds embrace snow, and I urge them my way. As I think I have written before, I’m not sure why stormy weather appeals to me, but that fact is settled: it does. Once, years ago, when Nathaniel was up here, and at midnight would be his birthday, we stayed up to celebrate, and we watched a storm pound about our house here in Crestline. A three-stanchioned yard light was beaming, as was a porch light, and that made it easy to see the slanting, blowing snow, but occasionally, we would open the deck slider, and push out our heads to see better and to feel the wind and to stick out our tongues so that snowflakes would settle there.

Anticipation. Yesterday, Jerry carried up more wood and stacked it on the deck wood rack, then covered it with a tarp and tied it. A few days ago we stored the remaining yard pieces, including all the chair and swing cushions.

It is the season of anticipation, for did not the holiday begin with anticipation.Think about it. An angel visited Mary with an astonishing message that would forever change the world, and when Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, Elizabeth’s unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in her womb. What an astounding conversation those two women had, and Mary said, “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”

And then she waited, and pondered, and anticipated, until that star-struck night in the stable when shepherds knelt at the manger and the sky over Bethlehem was alive with the rhythm of angels.