“O ye dews and frosts, bless ye the Lord;
O ye frost and cold, bless ye the Lord;
O ye ice and snow, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.”
It is zero degrees on our balcony here in Arlington, lower than the 5 that was predicted. Throughout the areas covered by this cold front, public officials are encouraging people to stay home. Do we listen? We do not. “Press on, ignore risk and reality.” “Nothing will stop me. I’m in control.” We will not be still; not “let go, and let God.”
We had a perfect example in our parking lot three days ago during and after the blizzard. A crew worked in our condo parking lot all day and until 10 p.m., chipping and shoveling ice. We’ve never done that before and are wondering why so much more was done than spreading sand and de-icer which has always sufficed for the 30 years we’ve lived here. And the cold didn’t last. The next day was so warm that everything that was left just melted away. And the warmer day to follow was predicted!
But the external demands on us aren’t geared to hunkering down, so on we press. Keep everything moving that lubricates commerce. “That which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Unless you lose fingers and toes to frostbite. So bundle up. Pay attention to what you body is telling you. Watch every step you take; this is no time to fall and break your arm.
And be specially careful of children. Few here have clothing adequate for these temperatures.
Consider your neighbors too, especially the aged and infirm. Love them as yourself.
And feed the birds. They need it even more when it is this cold.
Ron Hicks, Parish Verger, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Washington DC, 7-January-2014.