We had a rare snow day today in Virginia. After a sunny and 60-degree day on Monday, by Tuesday late afternoon, frigid air had swooped into town, bringing with it snow and wind. The overnight low was something like 11 or 12. Brrr. We only got about 3 inches of snow, but it's sitting on top of a layer of ice, and the temperature never got out of the 20's this afternoon.
I have been impressed with the response. The snowplows were out yesterday as soon as it started snowing. People have been shoveling and scraping and salting both public and private streets. We don't get much snow here (either in quantity or frequency) and this is a small city, but it is clear that the local government knows what to do when we do get snow and ice.
And meanwhile, at the parish house, the huge group of people who are volunteering during our week to host the homeless shelter (coming up in early February) met to get the training for that work.
So today, I am thankful for all those who work behind the scenes. I appreciate all the people who got up early to go out in extreme cold to help make things safe for everyone. And I am thankful for those in our parish who will be putting in many hours to make sure that our winter shelter week goes as smoothly as possible for our guests.
This is what makes community great - an understanding that we are all in this together and that each of us has a responsibility towards others, that we are all working to build up the whole community, knowing that if one segment of it suffers, then we all are diminished. It's not just our own sidewalk that needs shoveling, but our neighbor's sidewalk, too. We must be concerned not only with putting food on our own tables but also the community table where those in need come because they have no table of their own. I was thrilled to see the room full of people preparing for our shelter week and to see the excited, happy faces of the volunteers who are eager to do what they can to address the needs of our neighbors who are unable to provide for themselves.
I am grateful for my community on this cold, snowy day.