Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person
by Sylvia Plath from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
I grew up on the central coast of California where snow is as common as unicorns. For years, I listened to Bing Crosby croon about white Christmases while wearing shorts and a t-shirt. It is a peculiar reality understood only by those initiated into 76° Decembers.
Today, I stare out a window where everything in view is covered by a lacy blanket of hoar frost. It is, quite simply put, magical.
I was excited to move to an area that experienced seasons. I knew, conceptually, what it would be like to have snow in the winter and honest heat in the summer (contrary to popular belief, the entire coastline of CA is not one, giant, sunny beach. There is a reason Mark Twain penned the phrase, “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”) But today, so many years after my first white Christmas, I am still in awe of what a fresh snowfall can mean to me.
I need beauty in this bleak, cold season. I need to see that even when times are rough and reality continues to disappoint, there are moments of such glorious splendor that they take my breath away. Everything under the frost is dead and brown. The trees are naked with a few, shriveled leaves still hanging tenaciously to their branches. The grass is matted. The flower beds all look miserable.
But that’s underneath… on top is a gleaming display of sparkling white. It is clean and dainty and makes everything it touches appear like a million diamonds. It gives the eye respite from the bitter days. It bolsters the heart and reminds me that beauty is not only found in full-bloom.
It also speaks to deeper magic.
Like Narnia, the snow covers the dead things… but the dead things cover something profound.
Without the freeze. Without the cold days of winter. Without dark nights that last whole days, the trees and the shrubs and the flowers would be unable to burst forth in the spring. They need this time of quiet to rest. They need to take a break from putting forth shoots and buds so they can heal from last season’s pruning. It is a necessary moment in the circle of seasons – not an afterthought or a hiccup or an accident.
Today, the snowfall mesmerizes me. It softly speaks a word of truth to me that God has not forgotten that I’m stuck in winter. It gently restores my hope that another day of beauty will be mine. Someday.