No, there is no snow where I live! :(
But, when I got to thinking about our monthly congregational theme of stillness, and, especially at this time of year, the images and feelings that came to my mind were of walking lightly on freshly fallen show, with the world lying underneath a sound-muffling blanket, seeming to beg for contemplation and exploration—a landscape where my every yearning footstep forward becomes visibly impressed upon the world.
At a time of year when I can be so tempted anxiously to count down the days (and perhaps count up the presents), there is nothing quite like snow to slow things down, and to invite a less harried contemplation of the beauty of creation.
And, the notion that a snowy carpet of white is made from individual flakes, each resplendent and unique in all the universe, well, that adds to the magic for me.
What comes to your mind when you think of snow or snowflakes? Memories of childhood? Snowdays home from school? Scenes of soft serenity? Holiday reminiscences? A poem to share?
by Patricia Fargnoli
If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed-down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.
As it happens, in this latitude of New Jersey, historically, the average appearance of the first snow of the season is this week of December...so, who knows?
Hold on ... what do I see? Can this be happening, right on cue? There is snow falling outside my windows!! Such a simple thing, and yet tears are in my eyes and love is in my heart.
Happy Hanukkah to all as we begin beloved seasonal days—let's make them count.