The first snowfall of the season came to my Southwest Michigan home yesterday afternoon.
Like many northern folk, I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I love it around Christmastime, as most people do, but soon thereafter I begin to tire of it as the Michigan winter drags on. Lately, however, I have begun to notice a difference in my attitude toward snow. It seems the scales have tipped in favor of love for the crystal white bounty, and yesterday as I watched it float to earth, I considered three reasons why.
Reason No. 1: Snow Slows
I know that snow itself isn’t always the most practical thing in the world, but I love the subtle message that seems to linger in the air whenever a significant snowfall comes. “Careful now, go slow,” it seems to say. I love to step outside and listen to it whisper. To listen to it fall quiet, peaceful, and gracefully slow.
To me, it’s mesmerizing, and makes it nearly impossible not to follow suit. At the first sight of snow, I want to grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, a book, a blanket, and curl into the moment that God is giving.
It is a gift on snowy days to be at home, but even on the days when I have to be out, shopping for groceries, making appointments, fetching this and that, the snow and ice require a slow and careful approach to the activities of the day. Is it convenient? Hardly, but I rather like the excuse to go slow. In today’s hectic world, it’s a welcome change of pace.
Reason No. 2: Snow Keeps Me Young
In a world of wrinkle-free this and age-defying that, snow brings youth and childlike joy. Sledding. Snowmen. Snow angels. Snow ball fights. “Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes…”
Tell me, what else brings youthfulness as instantly and completely as playing in the snow.
In recent years this joy has been heightened by my daughter’s awareness of the fun snow brings. To watch wonder fill her eyes as she gazes out cold window pane at snow piling deep brings wonder to my eyes as well. She is three. I am 31, but when the first snow flurries begin to fall we are made the same, and our giddy hearts cry joy.
Reason No. 3: Snow Is Pure Beauty
It is snow beauty that gets me every time; that I love most. Whether it piles in inches and feet or softly dusts the earth, snow always comes radiant and speaks to me of its creator.
Who but God could make snow? Who but God could create the soft kiss of heaven that composes each unique flake? Who but God could paint a snowy morning and make the most barren landscape shine new?
Living in the north it is all too common to hear people around me commiserate together on how much they hate the snow. I’ve done so myself, many times, especially come March when I’m tired of the cold and long to see something…anything green.
Here’s a little secret that I myself am learning: God is in the snow. His glory, beauty, creativity, and ability to make all things new can be seen in each and every flake. Don’t we miss something wonderful, when all we do is gripe and complain? Don’t we miss the wonder that God is giving, that nature displays? Despite the cold and the length of the season, I don’t want to miss out on God’s special brand of wonder.
It happens every year, when the cold bites hard I am taunted by the love/hate feeling that winter brings. But my love for snow beats strong, reminding my heart to slow, feel young, feel joy, and relish in His beauty.
After all, the Michigan winters are long and the snow is going to be here for a while, I might as well bundle up, grab my cup of cocoa and enjoy it while it lasts.