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Early Saturday morning, I’d read the news, finished my coffee, fed the dogs then, ready to start the day, checked the weather outside. “I think it’s snowing on the mountain,” I said to Keith.

He looked up from his desk in the loft and gazed out the window facing the Rockfish Valley. “I see it,” he said. “After the last storm, I thought we were done with winter.”

So did I. But apparently weather patterns hadn’t quite changed to spring yet. I thought of the series of storms that hit New England in the past several weeks, especially Boston.

An hour later on my drive to church for quilting, I ran into the squall. Flakes swirled past my windshield. Though patches of blue sky promised to bring wild flurries to an end, the snow didn’t let up until I reached the Shenandoah Valley.

Daffodils2015On Afton Mountain, skiffs of snow huddled along the shoulders of roads and dusted woods, rooftops and cars. Daffodils faced away from the cold front and bowed their heads as if praying for warm weather.

Wind patterns drive air masses, both hot and cold. When two collide, a front is produced. Cold air replaces warm, or warm replaces cold. Then there are jet streams and cyclonic systems, all of which factor into weather patterns.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the end of Lent and beginning of Holy Week. Keith and I attended yesterday’s service and plan to observe Maundy Thursday and Good Friday at church, too. Then Easter will inaugurate a new season.

For a variety of reasons, we’ve never attended all services during Holy Week; it’s a new pattern for us. By focusing on the last days of Christ, we connect with our ancient past. We join Palm Sunday’s joyous masses, participate in Maundy Thursday’s intimate remembrance, suffer the cold front of Good Friday’s sorrow and arise in Easter celebration.

Holy Week provides a tremendous opportunity for spiritual growth, to set new patterns. Hearing the Gospel, we see the patch of blue sky amid life’s squalls and cyclonic events, bow our heads to cold driving winds then raise our faces to the promise of warmth to come.

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