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TITLE: Silent Night
By Lesley-Anne Evans
12/07/06
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This is written for a secular magazine, with the intent to gently point people to the meaning of christmas, and the need to look more closely at how they live their lives. Does this work?
Have you noticed how much quieter things are after a fresh snowfall. My husband commented to me that everything seems to slow down a little when it snows, almost a subconscious response to the lazy blanket that wraps itís way around our lives.

The panic of the pre-christmas rush is pre-empted by the need to clear the driveway. Conversations break out with the neighbours as they choose to do the same. Plans are made for future conversations, eggnog dates are set, and people reconnect. Priorities are revised, and humanity wins over consumerism for a time.

The children get caught up in it as well. The PS2ís and MP3ís are left untouched as they rush outside to create snow forts, speed bumps in the street, and havoc with well aimed balls of packing snow! I watch them from the window, full of memories. When the time comes, they reluctantly leave their winter playground and come inside for dinner, rosy-cheeked, energised and full of conversation.

In Kelowna the city seldom shuts down, but back in Toronto, things sometimes grind to a halt until the snow stops. Schools are closed, people are sent home from work early, and the streets are hushed as people leave their vehicles parked, and walk to where they need to go.

The very things that happen because of a snowfall, are, to me, the things that are most needful in my life. I need to slow down more often, and be fully engaged in the moment. I need to take time for people, to dig out from under the To Do List for a moment and have a good old conversation with my neighbour, with my kids. I need to step back from the consumer-based version of Christmas and consider what this season is really about.

That is why I love the snow and itís ability to get our attention. Love it or hate it, it has an impact on us. We canít ignore it. We canít control it. And itís silence speaks.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
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