Chapter 11. Ice and Snow
The bright reflection of sunshine on ice and snow can remind us of the Light of the World. Ice and snow brighten the dark, gloomy days of winter. Icicles, frozen waterfalls, frost on windows, and intricate snowflakes are sculptures of beauty. We laugh with the children who build snowmen and snow angels, and sled and ski upon snowy hills. God is ever more refreshing than cold ocean waters or iced lemonade on a hot summer day. As snow blankets and insulates the earth in winter, may we be aware of God embracing us.
I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.
Wash me with hyssop
until I am clean
and whiter than snow.
I saw a windstorm blowing in from the north. Lightning flashed from a huge cloud and lit up the whole sky with a dazzling brightness. The fiery center of the cloud was as shiny as polished metal ...
Ezekiel 1: 22–23
Above the living creatures, I saw something that was sparkling like ice, and it reminded me of a dome. Each creature had two of its wings stretched out toward the creatures on either side, with the other two wings folded against its body.
He covers the ground with snow
like a blanket of wool,
and he scatters frost
like ashes on the ground.
Thrones were set up while I was watching, and the Eternal God took his place. His clothing and his hair were white as snow. His throne was a blazing fire with fiery wheels ...
The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
His head and his hair were white as wool or snow, and his eyes looked like flames of fire.
I see my way as birds their trackless way.
I shall arrive,—what time, what circuit first,
I ask not; but unless God send his hail
Or blinding fire-balls, sleet or stifling snow,
In some time, his good time, I shall arrive:
He guides me and the bird. In his good time.
—Robert Browning. Paracelsus. Part i.
Snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe, and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
—James Joyce (1882–1941). Dubliners , The Dead.
A stiff breeze helped blow the big bear swiftly along as the ice reverberated to the percussion drums (thundering booms) that is typical of frozen bodies of water in the deep freeze of mid-winter. It was a delightful time. He wished that his friends back in western New York could hear the classical drum sounds, but he knew that this kind of magic was reserved for the "crazy" folk who love the deep woods in winter.
—Paul J. Brach (1999). With Permission.
Snowman and children.
(C) 2002 by Anthony R. Brach.