The snow seems endless this year in South Dakota. I am too new to South Dakota to know if this is normal or even what is normal. Of course, I don’t find much normal in South Dakota. People misunderstand me when I say that.
We are now back from Rapid City. Light snow fell throughout the day. The sun is shining this morning and my day is already brightened by its presence. During the trip to Rapid City, I was filled with anxiety. I was anticipating the weather.
I just knew it would be bad. It wasn’t when we left Brookings, just rain and cold. It wasn’t when we got to Sioux Falls. I was sure that by the time we got to Mitchell the weather will start. We got there and it was uneventful. The next emotional milestone was Chamberlain. I anticipated slipping into the Missouri River as we crossed it at Chamberlain.
We crossed the frozen Missouri uneventfully. I wasn’t driving. My husband is fearless in weather. Nevertheless, I was anxious. As we came to Murdo, the weather started. Slipping in the slushy mix of ice, water and snow validated my anxiety. Unaffected, my husband continued. I kept thinking that maybe we should stop for the night. No meeting was this important.
The locals who arrived in Rapid City said oh, the road wasn’t too bad. I silent thought they were very wrong. As the weekend progressed, the anxiety lifted and I considered that they might be right. Nevertheless, I chose not to leave the hotel.
The trip back to Brookings was the mirror image of the trip there. No weather when we left. The sky was the same color as snow. You couldn’t find the horizon. Dreariness covered the sky and the ground. It was a visual expression of my emotions.
The bad weather started past Mitchell this time. The closer we got to Sioux Falls, the worse it got. As we took the last turn onto I-29, we slid. Vehicles overturned, upside down in the ditch. It reminded me of a treacherous trip to Vermont in January. Terror gripped my heart as I wondered if we’d be safe.
The locals would say, oh it wasn’t that bad, just drive slow. Some of these locals weren’t even driving slow. I wonder if they got home safe? I wonder if they were the next car in the ditch.
I have been on hold since first coming to South Dakota. I am waiting to hit the bad weather. I am sure I am going to run off the road. I am sure that I should stop, spend the night somewhere until it is safe. I wait for the next calamity, sorrow and disappointment, not willing to take any risks.
The locals understand something. They know the weather is bad. They know it is treacherous. Life is treacherous. Life is full of dangers. You can slip off the road. I have slipped off the road several times in my life. I may have been injured but I survived.
I hesitate to engage in life. I hesitate to live my life here, where I am, because I might slip off the road. If I drive, we likely will slip off the road. Like the road, life is treacherous. It is time to slide over and let Jesus drive. It is time to engage in life. It is time to stop wondering when the weather will start because it will. Life has lots of storms and slippery roads. If you stop you’ll never get to your destination. You’ll miss living.
My husband was the confident driver who brought us safely to our destinations this weekend. Jesus is the driver who will bring me to my destination, my destiny here in South Dakota. I do have a purpose to be here.
Today I am thinking there is life in South Dakota. It may not be normal. It may not be easy. The sun, brightly shining today, is beckoning me to engage in life.