“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”
I have been thinking about the cold. Several friends have shared that this past year has been the most difficult time of their lives. They are not alone. It has been a time of isolation, loss, grief, and social upheaval. Katherine May describes it well, “We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones.” That is cold.
I wonder though, if you have also noticed something else about the cold? It can wake you up not only to the harsh realities of life, but the beauty. If you have never experienced it, it's quite something. The frigid cold seems to also bring a quiet calm and the world seems to slow. When you step into the freezing cold, it stings your face and tempts you to hold your breath, keeping whatever warmth you have inside. When you finally let it out, it’s magical. The thing you do day in and day out, the simple act of breathing, appears as a cloud before your eyes, visible proof of the life within.
Earlier this week, snow gently fell throughout the day, large flakes gently gathering with friends below. Someone rightly noted, “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.” * Before long we had the chance to behold a fresh landscape take shape before our eyes. The clouds hung low like a hug. It was a day to listen to your heart. It reminded me that the assurance of hope that our faith promises can be trusted. There is a power at work in the world. Even something as a small as a snowflake has the power to transform the world in a moment.
“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.”
As the snow kept coming I could not help but sense a whisper of peace amid the enfolding quiet. Peace is a sense of fullness and rest experienced in the quiet place of your heart and the broad space of your mind. Frederick Buechner says that peace “is having everything you need to be wholly and happily yourself.” It is a gift from God.
Peace is a sense of fullness and rest experienced in the quiet place of your heart and the broad space of your mind.
So whatever season you find yourself in, may you be embraced by a quiet peace.
* quote from Vista M. Kelly