Snow Day Sabbath

Here in Dallas, we’ve been iced-in since Thursday. Say what you will about how silly it is that Texans shut down at the first sign of freezing temps and heavy-looking clouds and how if we were up North we would have to drive to work up-hill both ways in bare feet through a blizzard without complaining, but here in Texas, shutting down during a winter storm is a safety necessity.

Now, everyone loves a snow day, but my favorite thing about it isn’t just the chance to wear pajamas all day while snuggling with my cats.

But seriously, don’t you want to snuggle up with this fuzzy, adorable creature?
As great as the sleeping-in and cocoa-drinking is, my favorite thing about a snow day is that it somehow imposes Sabbath on me in a way that an ordinary weekend or ordinary free time just doesn’t do. Snow days aren’t only a much-needed break; they’re permission to rest. They’re the answer to that wish I’ve whispered in frustration when I’ve been overwhelmed by deadlines and responsibilities — I wish the world could just stop for a day. And on a snow day in Texas, that’s exactly what happens.
Now this particular ice storm (what the locals are affectionately referring to as “Icepocalypse 2013”) hasn’t been all ‘walking in a winter wonderland’ and ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire.’ Many have lost power and those who have had to brave the icy roads have faced deadly conditions. But for those of us lucky enough to stay warm at home, this weekend spent inside has provided an opportunity for real rest — for reading a book just for fun, for catching up on that netflix queue, for cooking and eating meals around the family table without the distractions of a loud and crowded restaurant, and for being still and quiet in the midst of a holiday season that is all too busy. In our society, the Christmas season is inaugurated by manic Black Friday sales that begin ever earlier; this year many stores were open on Thanksgiving Day. Instead of Advent being a period of restful waiting, it is more often a season of stressful bustling. But on a Texas snow day some of us are literally stuck at home, leaving nothing to do but rest.
So laugh at us if you need to, Northerners; I’m thankful for an enforced Sabbath in my life this Advent season.
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