Isn't snow beautiful? Having never lived above 34-degrees latitude, I typically only get to see it on snowboard trips or when visiting my in-laws. This holiday season, however, I have gotten two solid snow storms in only a week's time, and in two locations. The gift has been such a blessing, and as I have gazed at the large fluffy flakes falling in droves, or scanned smooth blue rolling hills, covered in four inches and lit by a full moon, I think snow teaches us some things about God and life.

First: I struggle sometimes with the idea that God could love so many people at once. Often times I find myself in a congested space, or a downtown area, and I look around or at the apartments and town homes near me, and think, Even if God just loved all the people in this area, that would be an incredible thing. But to think that God loves a whole world's worth of people, and has been doing so for centuries upon centuries...well, that is certainly something beyond my comprehension.

But when I look at the thousands and thousands of snowflakes around me, and consider that each one of them is unique, I can't help but think that this is an illustration of the intricate details with which God creates. If he chose to give us this beautiful substance that totally transforms a location, and brings with it a feeling of peace and serenity, when it could have just have easily been clear/blue like water, or brown like mud, and in doing so created each snowflake as a unique piece of art -- maybe he could give us lowly humans attention in a similar way. It makes such a big love a little more possible in my eyes.

A flower on a bush from our from yard.
Second: Snow melts eventually, which can be a bit of a long dreary process. It usually slowly diminishes, getting dirty and icy. As that process begins, a sadness swells inside, as the longing that the pure white substance that makes everything more beautiful would stick around; the soft hue that sparkles in the sun bringing with it some kind of magical power of gladness that overtakes you, warming your insides in a fun fit of irony. Later, however, the wonder of when it fell fades, and before too long it is more like an afterthought of what once was, lying in the shade beside the highway in little grey clumps.

The whole process is like a microcosm of seasons. We may truly love summer and lament its passing as the leaves change colors and the air gets cool; or enjoy the cold air of winter as a nice break from the humidity of the hotter months. But seasons change and we have nothing to say in the matter (save moving to warmer or colder climates). Each season though, brings with it something different -- some aspects we appreciate and others we despise. Either way, it is change and change is good, because nothing lasts forever and there are times in life when we are forced to let go: of people, jobs, places, skills, situations, love. Watching snow come and go is good practice for the bigger and harder things to loose our grasps on in life, particularly because we know it will likely return, but we don't know when or for how long.

Yes, this season I have come to the conclusion that snow is truly a gift from God; for how else would something so beautiful and unique simply occur, unprompted or unwarranted? And like most of what God makes, snow is good in more than one way, the greatest one being a nurturer our souls, which is edged onto maturity and proximity with him as we ponder the beauty of his nature.