Excerpt from Tadhg’s Journal: For most of December, having spent a lot of time in the city (of London, UK), the temperature had been very mild, averaging about 15c during the day and 9c at night.
I loved it. So mild. And, yet there was part of me that was hoping that the temperature would drop, and that we wouldn’t have ended 2015 with a prolonged autumn that went straight into spring, and skipped winter altogether.
Today, winter arrived.
Sunrise today was 8am, but an hour before that, I was strolling along the River Thames, having wrapped up warm with multiple layers and wearing my ‘bank-robbers’ knitted hat, and I ‘discovered’ two things.
The air temperature was, literally, freezing, zero (0c) Celsius. And, as I left through the garden I noticed the frost that ‘caked’ the top of the weather-worn, wooden picnic table, and more so, the trees along the Thames embankment, just a few minutes later.
Ah, the River, I love it.
As I inhaled I could feel the cold air sting my nostrils, and a deep ‘freshness’ ‘hit’ my lungs. Totally unexpected, bearing in mind the previously mild weather, but welcome. Welcome?
It didn’t hurt, but it was rather uncomfortable. It was a ‘shock’ that cleared off any lingering ‘slumberiness’. And, I found myself wishing for warm weather. ‘Dear Clerk of the Weather’, Nathaniel Hawthorne might have written almost two hundred years ago. He wrote a fictional story that centered on a 6000-year-old man living on another planet, who had a stock of thunderbolts, rainbows, hailstones, and companions such as Jack Frost, which he would unleash occasionally on the Earth. ‘Dear Clerk of the Weather, please take Jack Frost back, and make the weather warmer, please. I’m finding it rather inconvenient’. There, I’ve said it, and yet the frost, the chill in the air, and now a slight breeze blowing in off the River Thames, continued. Had I really expected any change?
It seems, sometimes God does answer prayer, but at other times God doesn’t appear to, and I don’t know why. God certainly ignored my petition to the Clerk of the Weather. But, the first ‘discovery’ was why I should think that God would answer to me! If God is good, and God is; if God knows everything, and God does; if God acts in the interests of all, and God certainly loves all, then perhaps, for some, this freezing weather was a Godsend, and my ‘job’ was to trust God. After all, a slight frost isn’t really anything more than a minor inconvenience to me, and I pinched myself, metaphorically, not to be so negative and controlling. So, it was cold! So what? I then corrected my thought-letter to the Clerk to conclude, ‘…but as you know best, may your will be done.’
My second ‘discovery’, as soon as that negativity had ‘evaporated’, was one of a feeling of immense gratitude ‘bubbling up’ within me. It was cold, my nostrils and lungs evidenced that, but I was alive, and it felt good! I could feel the freshness not only on my skin, but inside me, too! How about that for being part of nature? I could see the River flow and it looked amazing. I detected the slight breeze coming in off the Thames and it smelled ‘rivery’, but I really did enjoy just the slightest hint of seaweed that enveloped me. Okay, that smell may not make the perfume counter of my local Pharmacy, but it was heaven-scent [sic]. The clouds were fast-moving, like wispy smoke that you might see in rural areas and coming out of chimney, and so low it seemed I could have almost reached up and touched them. How then could I not be grateful for being part of all that was going on?
I’m told, that it might snow tonight. I hope so. I have a feeling I might be in for a third discovery of some kind.