“Still, still still one can hear the falling snow; for all is hushed the world is sleeping, holy start its vigil keeping. Still, still, still one can hear the falling snow.” – Austrian Christmas Carol
It sounds like the hush of fuzzy slippers swooshing across the kitchen floor. Eggs and milk, pancake mix and cinnamon frothing under the steady beat of a whisk, then gliding onto a sizzling griddle, the shape of delicate snowflakes crowned with chocolate chips and dusted with powdered sugar.
It sounds like the rustling of a fleece throw, carefully placed beneath the tree in all its sparkly and colorful glow; fleece rustling again as 2 sisters and a dog make their way into the cozy Christmas cocoon to fall asleep beneath the shelter of evergreen branches, sappy and sweet.
It sounds like the quiet flutter of a holiday heart. Beating with excitement on a long drive to see family, eat pancakes (again), and decorate Star Wars cookies with loved ones in the coziness of home.
It sounds like marshmallows catching flame in the fireplace at the Old Homeplace. Grandparents and parents quietly shaking their heads as cousins and sisters, and brothers and friends make merry around the burning pine freshly cut and placed with care in their cast iron resting place, ready to fulfill their smoldering destiny.
It sounds like frosting going onto a sugar cookie, or like whipped cream being piped onto a pumpkin pie; like candlelight and silent night and little hands that reach out for a hug.
As I sat in my car as the snow fell onto the windshield and the ground around me, a strangely comforting calm from a weirdly comforting ritual I have of sitting in my car as the snow falls outside, safe from finals and the chaos around me for a moment to listen and hear… memory and home, and chocolate chips and snow cream; I was surrounded with calm and beauty. A reminder that in Advent, Emmanuel, God with us, is never far away.
Still, still, still one can hear the falling snow.