Winter is here with its cold and snow. Well, not so much snow this year, just lots of cold. I am reminded of a time many years ago of experiencing my first ice storm. I remember how beautiful it was, with everything coated in ice. It was not fun to be out there in the danger of tree branches giving way and ice threatening every step. My thought was: stay home and drink a hot cup of cocoa.
THE ICE STORM
Snow falls, the trees wear their blanket of white.
Rooftops are covered in canopy bright.
How lovely the sight of the new fallen snow.
Everything’s white and so clean. How it glows.
Winter winds blow; there’s a chill in the air.
Look all around; there’s ice everywhere!
Tree branches creak at their cold, icy guest.
The air cracks, the limb falls. They could not resist.
Roads glow with dark patches of glass no one sees
Until it’s too late. Drivers skid on the freeze.
Houses and cars become icicle farms,
Plying the world with diamond-like charms.
Sit back and relax as the snow keeps you home.
There’s nothing to do for once more winter’s come.
I am amazed at how fast summer has gone. It isn’t gone quite yet, but as I watch the preparations of my grandchildren to prepare for school, I know the year is progressing far too fast. I think my sister was right when she said awhile back, “Do you suppose if time keeps going this fast that we will have two Christmases in a year?”
I am thankful that God has given us seasons. The changes in the weather remind me of His promise after the flood: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Genesis 9:22).
Summer is just what I want after a cold winter and spring. Finally it is here. But if I had lovely days all the time, would I be grateful all the time? My human nature wants to find something to complain about. So when the days turn blustery and wet when I hoped for a dry warm day, I pray that God would help me to have a thankful heart for the many blessings He has bestowed!
Bare trees don’t usually make us think of beauty. I never thought of them in that way. I was used to years of evergreens in the Pacific Northwest; it was beautiful there because it was always green.
However, lately I have seen beauty in those leafless trees, as bare branches reach into a bright blue sky, turning gold in the sun’s rays. Even more recently, I was taken by them swaying in the wind. As each tree’s branches blew back and forth, I was fascinated to see that they formed many intricate patterns where each branch crossed.
This reminds me of people. We are created in the image of God, but at times we are more like leafless trees than ones fully dressed. But as the Spirit of God blows, He can make us glow in God’s sunshine like we are gold. And as we sway under His influence, others may be able to see gracious patterns we create as we interact with others.
I am also reminded that in my winter of life, I may not look beautiful to others, but because I am alive, there can still be beauty. I especially think of the 101-year-old lady in the assisted living complex. She is in a wheelchair and never says much, but her smile is radiant. She is beautiful.
I have grown to like seeing barren trees in my yard and along the road. I love their haunting beauty.
I looked out my window this morning to find a light dusting of snow on the deck, on the neighbors’ roofs, and on the ground. We had a lot of snow before Thanksgiving, but not much since, unlike cities in the Northeast!
My husband would have said I was silly, but I have been taken with the “folding” of melting snow. I saw it on my car years ago and not long ago, I saw it on the rock wall as it melted. I can’t do it with my hands; nature does it!
Scientists say that each snowflake is unique. I ask, how can that be when it takes so many to make the kind of scenery some places have been inundated with? Even more amazing, they say the same thing about people. We have unique fingerprints, “eye prints,” voices. Even identical twins still have small differences, hard to see even for their parents at times. How can that be when there are billions of people on the earth? And identical twins come from the same egg and sperm? And children, born to the same parents and live for years in the same house, vary immensely! My mother used to say about her four children, “How can four children from the same parents be so different?” Even adorable new-born animals may look exactly alike, but as you watch them, they display different temperaments.
The One who created all this must be more than amazing! How our Creator must love variety, for nature is full of it, down to the tiniest detail! Not just in form, but in colors. There are colors that the human eye cannot see. There are things so small scientists are just beginning to discover them. Overwhelming facts. And amazing to my finite human mind. I want to think I should understand all things, but who can understand this Creator that does such amazing things! As I read about Him in Scripture, I am overwhelmed not only by His power but by His love and justice.
In all this, I am brought to thanksgiving. This Creator has given us a wonderful, beautiful Creation, and despite our ingratitude has made it possible for me to fellowship with Him.
The sky was bright blue and clear with only a couple wispy white clouds decorating it. Reaching into it was a leafless tree, ravaged by winter cold. Lifeless trees remind me of the end of things, like winter reminds me of old age–which age I am. Lifeless trees are not pretty; we await spring when they once again brighten the day with brilliant green and glorious shade. Ah, the beauty of spring.
But as I gazed out the window that bright morning, I stared at the tree reaching for sunlight. The sun seemed to bath its lifeless branches in a coating of gold. Its branches, framed by the azure sky, looked beautiful. What an amazing sight. It was as if it was saying, the sun brings beauty to what doesn’t have beauty.
What of me? My “leaves” have fallen off and age has robbed me of youthful beauty. I have gray hair and wrinkles and some other problems brought on by age. However, I am assured that as the Son shines on me, I have beauty only He may see, but as I abide in Him, that beauty will reflect on those around me.