It’s Winter Somewhere

Just not here. I live in a part of the United States that isn’t known for cold winters. Sometimes you might get ice on your windshield in the morning here, or frost on the lawn, but for the most part winter comes in with a whisper and goes out with a whimper and scarcely bares its icy claws betwixt the two.

And yet, I grew up in frosty lands where snow was ever a friend during the long months between November and March. Sometimes there was less of it, sometimes more, but there was always some of it. To most of my present neighbors, this would be a fretful, if not downright frightful prospect: Snow? On the ground? How dreadful! I might have to drive slowly or take a broom to my sidewalk or whatever it is one removes snow with. 

But for those of us who’ve been kissed by snowflakes in the quiet of our backyard, there is a wonder and a joy that snow brings that cannot be given by anything else.

I once saw a snowfall in the mountains that looked nothing less than like a shower of diamonds falling gently from heaven. The sheer beauty of it was something that would be impossible to describe unless you had seen it yourself, I think. And yet there it was, shimmering, dazzling, a silent hymn to the praise of the one who made it.

On another occasion I remember driving by a part of the city I was in that had been littered with urban refuse the day before. But what had been an eyesore and a monument to the fallenness of mankind only a few hours prior had been transformed as snake-like brambles and vines had been encased in shining ice and cast-off metal cans and trash hidden beneath a blanket of snow. The scene left me breathless, warming my heart for miles afterwards as I passed by it on the road along to wherever it was I was driving to that day.

I love this passage from C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength about snow and weather:

“Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children – and the dogs? They know what snow’s made for.”

Do you, like the child, know what snow’s made for? Or have age and warm weather melted such sensibilities from your soul? Perhaps you’ve never seen snow and that’s fine with you. Well, fair enough. But just remember, it’s winter somewhere. And that is not altogether a bad thing for those who choose to embrace it.

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