Christmas season 2009 dealt me its first unexpected gift a few minutes ago when I awoke to theses words from my wife: "Holy crap, it snowed last night!"
Now, there are multiple ways this phrase can be uttered. In her case, it didn't quite contain the joy it would have from my lips, but I might well have used those exact words had it been my discovery.
Then again, I can understand our difference in perspectives. Nicole had overslept a bit and had to get herself to work pretty quickly. As for me? I didn't have too far I needed to go. I had the morning to sit and look out the window, writing about God's unexpected present to me and maybe squeezing in a music review or two. Work at the office didn't call until mid-afternoon.
On the subject of that little gift from the maker, though, it is especially poignant to me on the date. I turn 29 on Tuesday, and, as my parents will both vouch, I wanted nothing more as a kid than a good snow on my birthday.
It didn't seem an unreasonable thing to desire on Dec. 8, but it never happened. We might have flurries, but never accumulation. I'm not even talking about enough snow to cancel school -- which would have rocked, I admit -- all I wanted was that thin, beautiful blanket. And perhaps enough to make a snowball or two at recess.
What's really beautiful to me is this snowfall caught me totally by surprise. I fancy myself an adult and generally check some sort of weather report every day. I apparently didn't this weekend. I knew it was supposed to stay around freezing and flurries were possible, but I didn't expect this.
I also know it wasn't snowing at all when I took out the trash at nearly 2 a.m. Something may have happened when I spent the next two hours reading and writing, but the blinds were drawn.
Sometimes it's nice to be blindsided.
So, here's to birthdays, snow and presents. Maybe the snow will hang around for a day and I'll finally get my wish.
Then again, maybe I'll have a dirty, slushy mess tomorrow. Years from now, I can always trick myself into believing the snow was a day later, right?