I know it can be dreadfully inconvenient, but snow can also be unimaginably beautiful — a forced timeout by God which fades all our earthly scenes, earthly dramas to white.
After all, we human beings can make a dreadful hash of things, and a really good snowstorm feels like wiping the slate (or griddle) clean. In the midst of a great blizzard, one gets a feeling of Eternity — like it might never stop snowing and perhaps that would be for the best. Who ever heard of anyone starting a war in the middle of a snowstorm? Better that we should all seek comfort around a warm fire, and recognize our smallness compared to Nature — not to speak of God, of whom Nature is only a small portion.
It is best in a snowstorm — even if you are a citydweller — to locate some region of parkland, however small, where you can look on the falling snow without seeing automobiles or other signs of civilisation.
There is an individual occurrence of snow, and then there is the archetype of snow. What we want to do is move from the individual to the archetype. Everything has its essential nature, and the nature of snow is that it is holy. Believe in this, and contemplate the falling snow as it blankets even one lone tree.
When you are certain you know what snow means, then widen your gaze and take in more of the sights around you:
Wait! That is too fast! What we need is a more leisurely sojourn through the snow:
What is the meaning? You can make your own meaning. But ask yourself these questions: What does salvation mean to a man? To an angel? To a horse? Is snow the great equalizer?
In a December 1993 episode of Northern Exposure (set in the mythical town of Cicely, Alaska), radio DJ Chris in the Morning reads a fragment of an 1869 poem by John Whitaker Watson:
I can only wish all readers everywhere a (belated) Bon Hiver! as I vicariously enjoy Britain’s “inclement” weather.
First Snow – Grace Ellen Morton
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