Friday, December 10, 2010
Snow on Snow
Sigurd Olson, my favorite nature writer, in his classic text, The Singing Wilderness, shared the following thoughts regarding the snow blanket:
There is a new excitement in the air, a feeling of release. Life will now be lived in an established white world where conditions of food and shelter will not change for a long time.
Stability has come to the Northwoods, and to my own life as well.
The coming of the snow adds zest to my activities. Now, there will be time for a multitude of things that during the feverish moving about of summer and fall, were denied me, leisure after the long and constant busyness.
To me, that is the meaning of the first snowfall -- not a cessation of effort but a drawing of the curtain on so many of the warm-weather activities that consume so much time.
The snow means a return to a world of order, peace and simplicity. Those first drifting flakes are a benediction and the day on which they come is different from any other in the year.
The snow blanket before Christmas reminds me of this beautiful prayer given by Peter Marshall, former Chaplain of the Senate in December of 1947:
We thank Thee, O God, for the return of the wondrous spell of this Christmas season that brings its own sweet joy into our jaded and troubled hearts.
Forbid us, Lord that we should celebrate without understanding what we celebrate, or like our counterparts so long ago, fail to see the star or to hear the song of glorious promise.
As our hearts yield to the spirits of Christmas, may we discover that it is Thy Holy Spirit who comes -- not a sentiment, but a power -- to remind us of the only way by which there may be peace on earth and good will among men.
May we not spend Christmas, but keep it, that we may be kept in its hope, through Him who emptied Himself in coming to us that we might be filled with peace and joy in returning to God.