Unexpected snowy beauty

Unexpected snowy beauty

Around these parts Snow can be a religion.  Do you believe?  Do you believe in the power of snow to make your lives better?  Do you believe in the power of snow to perk you up, transform a gray landscape or ignite mystical feelings of awe and beauty?

Or do you think Snow is really a devil in disguise, an agent of Lucifer, destined to create havoc with your driveway and roads?  Does it cause shivers of horror and despair, or promises of delight and joy?  What’s your take on the Religion of Snow?

All joking aside, Snow can be the greatest thing on this planet.  Such beauty!  Especially at Christmas.  Listen to the songs croon, “Please have snow and mistletoe….”  A friend from Houston recently waxed nostalgic about my tales of snow, wishing for the sight of those white flakes gently falling from the sky.  (A week later, to her delight, they were falling from the sky in Houston!  I didn’t ask if she changed her initial reaction after awhile…)

Sitting in the lovely house, a snowstorm brewing outside, the flakes sideways in white beauty, can be the loveliest sight on the planet.  IF you’re inside.  Snowmobilers, skiers, my husband the ice fisherman and snowshoe enthusiasts may disagree.  They’re the enthusiast sort (shall we call them Fundamentalists?) who take Snow as the second coming, or maybe the first coming, and they’re off to play and cavort and swoosh down slopes and trails with abandoned glee.  There’s no hesitation when one loves snow.  Either sitting in the house with hot cocoa in hand, admiring the glories of the flakes, or playing in the great outdoors, it’s Wonderful.

Then there’s the more challenging aspects of Snow.  Like in the morning, driving to work, when a logging truck comes towards you on the snowy road.  And suddenly you’re in a white out.  Snow swirls in front, behind and around you.  And you must keep driving.  You give yourself to the white-out with limited options.  Either you grip the steering wheel until blisters form (a friend actually formed blisters on her hands during bad snow conditions during a  trip downstate last week) or you surrender in faith.  Or, better yet, you become very awake to the experience, very present to your situation while simultaneously surrendering to Something Larger (you may call it God) that sees beyond the white-out.

How many parents have sat painfully through a long winter’s evening knowing their beloved child or children were out their in a storm?  How many parents have prayed fervently for the safety of teenage drivers, of middle-aged drivers?  In these moments, the Snow is not something friendly and pretty and lovely.  It’s a menace that has claimed the life of more than one child here in the northwoods. 

So our attitude about Snow, as about many other benign things, reflects our human situations.  It can be good, bad, ugly and beautiful.  The eye of our perception measures it and decides.

On today’s walk in the woods around the house, it was beautiful.  The memory of the logging truck white-out had dimmed and disappeared.  The snowflakes of this morning have diminished, and there’s none of our kids on the local roads (they’re on planes to NYC and buses through Mexico, but that’s another story….)

So what’s your take on snow today?  Is it something to love or something to hate?  Or something in between?