SINGING IN THE SNOW – by Lorraine Payette

We always seem to get a lot of snowstorms in March right around the Spring Equinox. It’s that wet, heavy sticky snow great for building snowmen but back breaking to shovel.  The last storm no one was out building snowmen and the streets were very quiet on my morning walk with Emma.

The silence of Covid-19 and isolation or rather ‘social distance’, gave my walk an end of the world sense of emptiness….except for what was rattling around in my mind as we walked.  My heart was as grey and leaden as the morning sky as I thought of our closed church and no Palm Sunday, no Holy Week, Good Friday, and worst of all no Easter.

The irony of our closed church was not wasted on me for I had left the Church from the time I was 18 until I was 51 years old.  Now when I really love being back in the faith and Church of generations of my ancestors, I am locked out.  It is funny, and God does have a sense of humour.  However, the only one laughing was the devil.  The more I brooded, the more audible became that sinister laughter; kind of like Vincent Price or Boris Karloff – yeeks.

It was a beautiful, mild morning; I could smell the sweet freshness of the promise of Spring, the alders and spruce waking up and shaking off winter, exuding aromas of  wet bark and damp needles.  Heavenly.  The morning silence was rent by the eruption of the plaintive chirping of a hopeful robin singing in the snow.  The dumb bird was giving his all, singing his heart out in the snow!

The chirping took me  on a nostalgia trip.  My Dad used to say – “He’s singing for rain. Rain brings worms out”.  Hmmm.  As a child and as an adult I like to think in the morning he’s greeting and thanking God his creator and at night thanking Him for another day.

Ornithologists would say songs of territory. Whatever, my heart brightened; suddenly the song Singin’ in the Rain by Gene Kelly was in my mind and I pictured the famous dancing in the rain scene.

I began changing what lyrics I could recall to “Singing in the snow, just singing in the snow. What a glorious feeling, I’m happy you know….”  The devil wasn’t laughing anymore but I was.  The song stuck in my head all through my morning jaunt with Emma.

When I got home I googled Singing in the Rain and was overjoyed as I travelled  on another great nostalgia trip watching him sing and dance so joyfully and exuberantly.  I felt like a kid again.

Even though we may not have Easter this year which is very poignant to me as Easter was my mother’s favourite Church celebration – the reason d’etre of our faith the Resurrection, Easter is very alive still. My niece Jorie had a beautiful gift for our family.  Lily Riley Anne who was born 4lb 2oz on February 19 just before all the Covid-19 stuff.  She was actually due at Easter but arrived early.

Jorie, who long ago left the church, still remembered how special Easter was to my mother. So when she was choosing the name she asked her mother, “Grandma liked Easter so what is the flower for Easter?” To which my sister replied “Easter Lilies”. So Jorie named her little girl Lily for my mother’s devotion to Easter.  Man, chokes me right up.

And Lily, small as she is lives up to her name.  I hold her and I am filled with joy and hope.  I see the joy she brings to her parents and grandparents, and everyone she meets.

Singing in the snow who would know that the song of a robin could bring about such a change of heart.  God works through the humblest and simplest of creatures and people.

Happy Easter dear readers.  There is life during Covid-19.

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