The great South Dakota blizzard of 2009 continued through Christmas Day and the following Feast of St. Stephan. The nature imposed grounding gave us time to see our giftedness and feel gratitude in the midst of all that snow! Sr. Mary Kay found some wonderful and powerful images in the snow during the storm...
We were grateful to be together, safe and sound at the Monastery. The snow buried the cars in our front drive up to the windows. How lucky we were to be inside together. The guests and employees alike were invited to share in meals and worship while stranded away from home. Yes, some of us missed the promised to trips to family gatherings and celebrations as well. We joined with each other in play, prayer, and watching the snow fall.
This snapshot of smaller courtyard demonstrates the power of the wind and snow together. I am grateful for the strong protection of our home. The wind whipped the snow to the west side of the courtyard covering all the windows on the main floor of the Monastery, the library and exercise room. The peaks of the snowbank reached the second floor of the sisters' bedrooms in the care center! Our elderly, recovering, and frail were surprised to find their views not just frosted with snow but half covered!
The larger inner courtyard allowed the wind much more play in designing the snowbank. I'm grateful that I can see the beauty in the storm. Again the wind drove all the snow to the west side of the courtyard. We were amazed to find that the snowbanks totally avoided the Creche scene that is just a few feet to the left of this snow bank. This drift covered all of the first floor windows as well, but it didn't quite reach the second story. However, the Alpine style peak was breathtaking. All throughout the storm, sisters would stop in the hallway to watch this bank take shape.
Our green house sits in a corner of our south lawn. It was one of the few places where the snow fell quietly, well more quietly than the rest of the grounds. It was mesmerising to watch as the inches grew and grew on the greenhouse. It has been at least 13 years since I've seen this much snow fall at any one time, and I was a bit awe struck at how beautiful it could be. Powerful--yes, Overwhelming--yes, and even a bit Scary--yes, but still beautiful.
PS...This still shot of the snow is hard for you to judge, but there is approximately 18 inches of snow on the ground. It came about even with the low window ledges of our solarium hallway! The turkeys, squirrels, and birds that usually frequent our south lawn were in hiding among the bushes until
late Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon.