The Talmudic sage Raba says that snow is beneficial. This week, adjusting our routines in response to massive amounts of snow, let’s hope he’s right.
I hope we find benefit in spending some unexpected time at home or with family. While busy honoring commitments and responsibilities, I hope we benefit from a few less hectic days. Warm and well, we remember to check on and assist others for their benefit.
The Book of Psalms imagines snow as a blanket covering the sleeping soil as it replenishes during the winter. Gardeners tell us that this blanket effect makes snow an excellent insulator for gardens and landscapes.
Nevertheless, I can’t wait for the plow to arrive and clear my street. I’m being patient. I appreciate the tremendous effort on the part of so many to clean up after Winter Storm Jonas. I just want to get going again
Maybe that’s the biggest benefit from this snowfall. Feeling energetic and driven to be productive, to be active, and to do what I can. When I’m busy I don’t always get to notice how much more I hope to accomplish. Forced to slow down a bit, my mind fills with ideas, reminders, and goals.
It is difficult to go about life as normal until the roads and walkways are clear, until the ice melts. Sometimes this forced stop is inconvenient, other times a pleasant break. This time I take it as a reminder. There is beauty in slowing down, assessing what I’m doing, and keeping or getting back on track.
Each of us lives with the awareness that so many things are beyond our ability or position to control. Judaism teaches that this consciousness fosters our reverence before God and our humility as human beings. It also defines our vulnerabilities and points to our opportunities.
In response to a weather pattern we didn’t direct, stopping temporarily compels us to go on. It seems that snow is beneficial, after all.