I’ve been waiting to be inspired for this week’s gratitude prompt – and a part of me thinks – “how in the world are you going to come up with 52 “original” prompts for gratitude this year?” Of course I need to be original and profound – which sorta sets me up for failure – since being grateful is not about profundity but about grace. It’s grace to be present to all that is going around us and to see God’s hand in it whether or not we bubble up with joy.

A hot topic these days (the cold snowy days of February) is of course the weather. How much snow, just how cold is it going to be, and what, another day off school (great for teachers, not so great for parents!)!

When I was eight years old my father moved us from our hometown of Charlotte NC (in the heart of the Southeast) to a suburb outside of Philadelphia. My mother agreed to go but in our eight years there she had a deep disdain for “Yankeeland” as she called it and the people who lived there – “those damn Yankees!”.  My mother was also an alcoholic and while the weather obviously wasn’t the cause of it I do think that if she had lived here in the 21st century she might very well have been treated for depression or quite possibly with SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  The dark cold days after Christmas do indeed affect people in so many ways. I personally love the moodiness of rain (blame my Scottish heritage), the deep drifts of snow (as I look at it from my nice warm chair) and the crisp, sometimes sunny air of winter! If you were to ask me what season might drive me to depression I would have to say the hot humid 90 degree temperatures of August!

Please know I am not taking weather related depression lightly; I grieve for my mother thinking she might have had a very different life if she had been aware of her seasonal triggers. So, where am I going with this? Perhaps those of us who struggle with winter might find something to be grateful for in the midst of it? Many of us find it no struggle at all to thank God for bracing winds and snow capped fields. For that we can give thanks. Like last week’s prompt there is something liberating in looking up and out of our circumstances and be grateful in the midst of those circumstances. Perhaps you’ve found a secret to making it through to May (let’s face it, we have had snow in April before!) And the rest of us might pause and think about and pray for those people for whom Winter is truly depressing.  What do you think?