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Monday, February 20, 2006

Snow Dusting


Sunday morning was cold in Santa Barbara. Not cold like much of the USA, not locked into below zero weather and double digit inches of snow. It was brisk and bright. A storm came through in the early morning hours, cleansing the air. But I could see my breath as I walked across the parking lot at 7:00 am to unlock the church and get the coffee on. I go through a set routine on Sunday mornings to "claim my space" for worship. I turn on lights, and unlock doors and check for anything being out of place. But I was not prepared for the sight that greeted me as I looked up into the hills behind the church...snow! The hills pictured above are about 3,400 feet above sea level, just enough to hold snow for a couple of hours.
It was the talk of the church yesterday. Old timers told me how it comes once or twice a year overnight, and is gone and melted by noon. On some unique years there is actually a measurable amount, and some folks from town drive up into the hills with their pickups and shovel it in the the pickup beds and drive back down into Santa Barbara to make snow-men or have snowball fights in their front yards. Members asked me if I, a longtime Minnesotan, missed the snow. And I had to say "yes". My eyes kept lingering on that covering, that dusting that snow brings.
All day long I had recurrent good memories of blanketing snowfalls that softened all the harsh edges of the city and muffled all the sounds. I recalled late night cross country skiing with a good friend at -10 degrees, and working up a sweat as we glided in the bright moonlight. I recalled how the world turned to stark black and white in a snowstorm in contrast to the deep greens of summer and golden hues of fall.
But, I was also glad I did not have to shovel the stuff, get stuck in a drift, or bundle up with several layers yesterday. A sweater did fine. And the view was delightful... from a distance. I guess yesterday forced me to realize that I am coming to terms with my new place, my new neighborhood. While I now call this place "home", I am such a newby still. I am so ignorant of the ways and nuances of California. When I think I am getting it, then I realize how far I have to go. I was just "getting" what it meant to be a Minnesotan (a midwesterner) after 52 years. It will take a while longer here in this new and mystical place. But it was still nice to have the dusting!

3 Comments:

At 2:26 PM , Anonymous kent anderson said...

It is nice the you can have some snow. It looks best on mountains and hills. We do not have any here in Chicagoland, but it is still 4 degrees. But you do not shovel cold! We don't have any mountains or hills either, but that is fine. Talk to you soon.

 
At 5:56 AM , Anonymous kent anderson said...

We still do not have any snow, not that I am missing it, mind you. But it does cover up a multitude of visual sins. It gives an illusion of cleanliness. I imagine yours is gone now. I also imagine we have snow again before you do. Such is life.

 
At 10:12 AM , Anonymous Kalon Kelley said...

Lest your Minnessota readers think Santa Barbara is quintessentially idyllic, they should know that these same mountains that look so lovely with their snow dusting can be invisible for weeks at a time during our "June gloom" period of fog. Some of us get so desperate to see the sun that we simply have to climb up the trails through the fog to get to the summit ridge and the sun.

 

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