Sunday, October 23, 2016

Winter beauty in the now

I still remember the first snowfall here and the wonder of waking to a white world after staying up late to watch the drifts build. I recall getting my camera to capture my first impressions on film and the numbing cold in my extremities.

I have my first memories of when Pesky the squirrel began to call on the deck looking through the window hoping for a handout. Obviously, he had been fed winters before. I've learned different snows, the soft fluffy flakes, the wet ones that melt as they hit the ground, the Pez snow that retains its shape, and the slushy snow that is dense and heavy.

Some snow clings to the leaves and the branches waiting for the warmth of the sun to slowly melt it, dropping with resounding plops to earth. It also adheres to your shovel when you're trying to clear a path or a driveway and necessitates pounding the shovel to knock it free.

There is the snow that flurries while the sky looks perfectly clear, the snow that comes through heavy mists and the bendy snow that whips in the wind, the sky darkened with storm clouds and freezing cold.

The snow hasn't changed but the people here have. They have stopped seeing the beauty around them. When the light hits the snow it still sparkles like diamonds, even if they can't see it. Bird and animal tracks can still be seen imprinted on the hills, decks, and right up to the door, and they still shiver at their feeders even when they too are being covered in white powder.

There are the days when everything becomes as shades of black and white, days when the mountains are hidden from view or stand out in dark relief. There is ice that forms when the snow melts and the runoff freezes as the temperature drops and can be quite dangerous.

It hasn't been more than three months since winter began and it doesn't snow every day, but I hear often how people are sick of the snow, how beautiful it is up here in the spring or summer. The same things they said about the beauty of God's country in winters long ago. They've lost the marvel for the beauty I get so lost in. Being in this now touches my soul, always.