What does snow say about God?
Bear with me on my journal style musings.
February 2, 2022 - Melting Snow
It falls and sticks to everything it touches.
It permeates cold and at the same it can also warm when molded in a certain shape.
It melts under the sun's rays.
It comes in many forms; wet and heavy, light and powdery.
It shimmers like glitter as it falls in tiny specks in rays of light.
It is both magical and destructive.
The particular snow that I saw just yesterday was leaving its remnants, water, on the sidewalk as it melted. It had held the footprints of so many who had walked through it earlier in the week.
But what does snow say of the Creator?
God holds our movement, our journey. Not just mine or yours but both, all. He holds all our footprints as we tread not so lightly over the fresh snow.
God knows his time, as in all nature. It falls, it sticks, it melts, it evaporates or goes into the grass. It knows it’s cycle and it’s an unending lifecycle. The precipitation always returns back to some other organic form. It keeps creating new life.
Feb 3 - Unpredictable Nature
The snowstorm that I was so sure would not be a big deal has turned out to be worth it. It has been sleeting all day since about 9am and continues to do so. I was so sure that I’d be able to make it into the office for my meeting with Katie, but it was too bad.
I did, however, just go on a walk in it. And while it’s too yucky to drive in, I enjoyed it. I only passed 5 people. 2 dog walkers, and 2 men shoveling, and 1 guy vaping as he walked to his car.
It was nice regardless of the sharp sleety ice pellets hitting my face. Time to time one would feel sharp on my nose or get in my eye. Other than that it was just nice to have the streets basically to myself. The sidewalks were a little hard to walk on… mostly in the normal way your feet feel heavy and sticky to the snow underfoot.
Two things I noticed while walking were:
A brown leafed tree (almost all its leaves were still attached despite the time of yea) was covered in ice. The leaf that caught my attention was spinning around slowly from the wind that was blowing the sleet around in the air and to its final resting place, the ground. It was somewhat of a paradox… the tree was quite literally frozen from the sleet… little icicles forming on the branches and even on the leaves, and also frozen in the sense that the rest of it was unmoved by the seasons of Fall and Winter. This tree did not obey nature. I wonder, why? And then on the other hand that one little leaf was freely moving in the wind.. Unscathed by the icicles. I wonder, why?
Another somewhat paradox that I’ve been noticing is the little flower budded trees… those buds are just beginning to form even in the dead of winter. They know the time is coming when they will emerge. And yet right now they are covered in ice. How do they survive? What protects them? The ones I noticed today were fuzzy and large… Perhaps that fur coat safeguards them for Spring.
What do these things say of God then? And how do these observations make me feel?
I think in the moment they made me inquisitive and reverent. Inquisitive to know why and reverent because Nature knows what it’s doing. It’s phenomena never cease to amaze me. Perhaps that’s also what it says about God. I wonder who and what the Creator is. I wonder how God cares for me and what salvation really means. What does Jesus’s saving grace have to do with frozen tree buds or leaves that haven’t fallen from a tree?
God can you help me understand?
Feb 4 - Abundance in Winter
I just got back from walking to Whole Foods. I took the long way… on the Wasson Way trail on the way there. The snowy sidewalks definitely had me second guessing my route. Even in my snow boots I was slipping and sliding a bit. Once I got to the trail however it was a bit easier to walk. I passed two couples who had the same idea as me. They were walking back with grocery bags in hand.
The episode of ‘Another Name for Everything’ was about the word/meaning of love. Richard distinguished the different types of greek words for love and they talked about how it has become a watered down notion. It reminds me of how my grandma speaks about love. Ultimately Richard was saying that how we love ought to grow over time from self-love to group-love to universal-love. He thinks however that most religions don’t actually help people get to that universal love.
He also mentioned something about how humans have a lack of trust in a God who is abundant in love. Freely given love that also comes with forgiveness. But went on to say that God has to be bigger than the world that he created. If we look at just this world that he created though, we see abundance everywhere. The way in which the world works is an unending cyle of life.
This notion made me think about my questions yesterday from my reflection. What does the ice covered tree mean etc…. Well I think that it means God is abundant even in Winter. The literal winter that happens once a year from about December-March, and also the figurative winter. The winter that can happen in our hearts and souls. The winter that is also death in this life.
This of course reminded me of the Dorothy Day reflection Corynne once mentioned to me on a coffee date. She was talking about Dorothy’s reflections of her mother’s death. She likened it to Winter and Spring. Death was Winter, and the afterlife was Spring.
Corynne and I had been talking about the fear of losing those we love. For her it was Nick and the kids. For me it was my parents, brothers, and PJ. And though she has already been gone for over a year, Michelle.
Today, I don’t feel the sting of grief and perhaps that’s why I can write this; I am so hopeful in this moment that Winter can be enough… That is the beauty of abundance even in Winter, even in death. Little glimpses of eventual Spring and traces of past seasons have been bursting through even in this snow storm.
There was so much love for Michelle… not just leaping from my heart but from each and every single person who encountered her. There was abundance. There is abundance. So much so that God could have made flowers bloom even in the dead of Winter.