As an admittedly lapsed blogger, the hardest part to blogging again is getting back into the swing of things with regularity. Compounding that with the fact that I have changed my blog (from what it once was) into something that has yet to really carve out a niche – I find myself at a loss for the first post or two. Then, add to all this the hustle and bustle associated with Pope Benedict’s decision to abdicate the Papacy and there is a lot that I want to write about but don’t feel the slightest bit “prepared” to do so.
There was a time when I would read or skim over hundreds of Catholic blog posts a day. I was very much in the thick of the blogging world. As my life has changed quite dramatically over the last year, that has become less of a priority, and less of a possibility. Like many of us we slip in an out of patterns and habits as the ebb and flow of life changes.
Yet, I received a message the other day from a dear blogging friend that has been with me since the start, and really helped to thrust me into the role I once played in a land far away. The encouragement was enough to make me discern why it is I still bother to blog, or to struggle to possible do so. This all came on a day where we received a rather unexpected snowfall of rather significant amounts. Being a fan of winter and such weather, it put me in a rather positive and contemplative mood.
The thing about winter is the silence it brings. It muffles the world and captures within the bazillions1 of snowflakes all the noise and chaos of the world. Often the reprieve from loudness is short and sweet, but it definitely has a strong effect when it first happens.
I have always lived in the north, and yet some places embrace the cold and snow, while others do not. Michigan is famous for its complaints about the weather, which is odd for a state so culturally connected to snow. Yet entire newscasts have been produced about impending snowfall, or frigid cold snaps. To me, it is odd. Yet, I try not to let it affect me, and my affinity for the white stuff.
For me, this blog has always been about furthering my faith. Now, at a time where I am trying to rekindle my faith life, blogging once again appears to be an avenue for practice and exercise. It is an intellectual pursuit, or maybe better said – an exercise. It is a chance for me to express and think “out loud” about my faith.
My faith life isn’t struggling, that isn’t how I would explain it, but it is going through a period of change. I guess it is like the way a city is during that “silence” that comes shortly after the snowfall. Everything is still the same, but there is a quietness and a stillness that seems to be brimming with anticipation and possibility. For some this period might be the start of misery and frustration; the silence signals the onset of sloppy roads, cold, and unpleasant days to come. For me, a lover of the winter, I see it as the time to breathe deep, prepare, and go looking for adventure.
My family just moved2 to a new diocese, a new part of the state, and into the next adventure, I realize that my faith life will go through a transition. I can view it two ways – with optimism, excitement, and anticipation or I can look on it with dread, frustration, and dismay. It doesn’t make sense to do the latter, and the former is so much more fun.
So as I drove along the snow covered streets, and as I think about the rest of Lent, the coming Conclave, and the excitement of Easter – I stop a moment to enjoy the silence of the snow that has fallen on my soul. To me, it isnt a bad thing at all, but the creative mystery of God placing opportunity and adventure in our path.