Remember the old Carpenters’ song, Kind of Hush?
If you weren’t alive when it was released in 1976, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.
Anyway, I’ve thought of the lyrics every time I’ve stepped outside during the Blizzard of 2016.
“There’s a kind of hush all over the world tonight…”
This morning I went out to hunt for the Washington Post. (Wishful thinking.)
My neighbor was outside and we stood in the middle of the road in the bright sunshine, surveying the beauty around us, and enjoying the silence, the hushed stillness.
No high school kids bustling to school.
No UPS trucks, school buses, dogs barking.
No people rushing off to work.
No cars on the busy roads surrounding our neighborhood.
No planes flying in and out of Dulles airport.
Just a beautiful hushed silence.
We watched a lot of news over the last week, anticipating the storm and hearing all the warnings about this “life-threatening storm,” this “state of emergency,” this “historic blizzard.”
We joined the rest of the DC metro area in rushing to the grocery store and Costco for supplies.
Only a smattering of carts were left in front of the store and grocery store shelves were being quickly depleted.
We didn’t even really need anything there.
We just felt obligated to be part of the storm prep madness and excitement.
We bought bread and milk because that’s what you do before a storm here.
Most important, Doug got the snowblower ready — pumped up the tires, filled it with gas, and positioned it in the garage to be ready for the big dig-out.
We made a big pot of chili, charged all our devices, and pulled out the flashlights in case of a power outage.
And then it came.
Just as predicted, it started at 12:30 p .m. Friday and didn’t stop until about 10 p.m. Saturday.
Winds gusting, snow falling, everything being covered in heavy snow.
We ended up with 33″ on our deck.
That’s some serious snow.
We followed the newscasters and safety officials’ pleas to stay off the roads and hunker down at home.
And, we enjoyed every minute of it.
Mostly because we never lost power. Thank you for that tender mercy.
It might have been dangerous and epic, but inside our home, it was peaceful.
We had good books, old movies and lots phone calls and texting with friends and family who indulged us as we talked about the massive amounts of snow piling up on our deck.
Outside our home, in our neighborhood, it was peaceful too.
Neighbors were helping neighbors, and posting pictures on our Facebook page of the beauty around us.
Our reliable snow removal crews were out doing a terrific job of cleaning up our streets all weekend.
We formed a neighborhood brigade to dig out a neighbor whose husband is out of the country.
We even had a last-minute pot luck dinner with a few of our neighbors , sharing all our different pots of soup.
Now, the storm has passed.
The big melt begins.
We are slowly getting back to the business of living.
Hurrying to all the important places we have to go.
Keeping up with our busy, schedules.
Feeling more rushed, stressed and anxious than we like.
And waving quickly as we pass each other in the neighborhood on our way to do all Our Important Stuff.
But we need to relish this last weekend when we had the gift of time to help each other, reconnect, slow down, and appreciate the power of Mother Nature.
She holds the trump card.
She always wins.
And maybe there’s method to Mother Nature’s madness.
She can stop the most powerful cities in the world, control the oceans, the skies, the very world that holds us at its mercy.
With one big storm, she can stop everything — redirect all our efforts and energies, make us feel helpless and out of control or sometimes kind, forgiving and benevolent.
She can make us pray for safety, run for cover, think of others, and get our acts together.
She always gives us chances to rethink, rebuild, and refresh.
Maybe Mother Nature is just God teaching us that we need to disconnect to connect.
Stop to start anew.
Hush to enjoy silence.
Feel stranded but never alone.
An historic blizzard might be just what we need to remind us whose really in charge here.
And, I don’t think it’s the weatherman.
So, for those of you still trapped by the snow, take a deep breath and enjoy this beautiful, rare kind of hush that’s over our world.