660. A snowy day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. ~Susan Orlean

The first fall of snow is not only an event,
it is a magical event.
You go to bed in one kind of a world
and wake up in another quite different,
and if this is not enchantment
then where is it to be found?
~J. B. Priestley

DSC_0075

I know snowy manifestations get in the way of “human” comings and goings and doings and that in areas where winter delivers a lot of the fluffy white stuff the populace tires of it, but man oh man is snow one of my favorite things. And for me it is definitely an “enchantment” any time it happens here which is not all that often! But snow in fact it did last week, and as always it was a “magical event” that layered the world in loveliness. Regrettably, I could only watch it from my hospital bed, but oh well, such is life.

DSC_0198

What I love best about snow is that, like God’s grace, it takes the ordinary, the humdrum, the lackluster, even things that are dirty or ugly and moves them into the realm of the extraordinary and the beautiful. We are told in scripture there is a time for everything under heaven, and that there is goodness and purpose in all that God has devised. It also tells us that stopping man from his toils so that he takes time to consider the work of God’s hands is a part of the grand plan too. And so it is that the slower, quieter pace of winter affords us abundant opportunities to consider the amazing works of God’s hands, to honor the Lord for what He is and does, and to enjoy His amazing abilities and gifts. And it’s the best time of year to force man’s gaze off his own self-inflated sense of greatness and to refocus his regard on the enormous magnitude of Him who made it all and who teaches His children ways to cope with whatever comes against them.

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth,” and to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.” So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor. ~Job 37:5-7   ✝

305. Awake, thou wintry earth – Fling off thy sadness! ~Thomas Blackburn

It was one of those March days
when the sun shines hot
and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light,
and winter in the shade.
~Charles Dickens

Image

The vernal equinox, official start of spring, is still 7 days away, but there are signs of its coming.  And with each new green shoot Creation’s heart beats stronger, God’s ancient utterances grow louder, and the potential for lifting humankind’s spirits increases.  As the sanctuary of earth and sky throws open its doors, doors once “frozen” in wintry bondage, the introit to the full ceremonial form of springtime’s metaphorical “high mass” is beginning.  Presiding over the opening ceremonies are their highnesses, the avian cardinals.  With the arrival of the equinox on the 20th, other “clergy” donning different vestments will appear, and they too will perform their holy sacraments upon earth’s hallowed altars.  Currently only chants can be heard echoing close to the ground or reverberating near branch and cane.  However the rest of spring’s holy voices will soon join in, and their loud arias will climb garden walls and charge over hedgerows.  As ever increasing waves of spring’s sweet sounds cross the land, they will be discernible to some extent even in the mighty cement jungles of commerce.  Despite clouds of spiritual pollution, the light that was in the beginning will break forth anew, and sounds of the eternal will be able to be heard above the cacophonous noises of humanity’s hectic busyness.  Earth’s quiet, eternal rhythms still proffer wholeness, harmony, and healing in the maelstrom of madness within today’s “cultural currents.”

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.  ~Job 37:5   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

243. A Summer fog for fair, a Winter fog for rain. ~Weather Lore prediction

Oh fog! Oh fog!
What can I say?
You’ve painted the day
A thick shade of grey.
~Adapted excerpt from a poem by Andrew D. Robertson

Image

A textbook definition of fog is that it is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface–a cloud of sorts, as it were.  Since it wasn’t cold enough last night for this one to have been formed from ice crystals, it had to have been from the little bit of misting rain we got yesterday.  Thus, the only strange thing is that I’ve never seen a fog of either kind come so early or last as long as this one has, at least here in north central Texas.  And the somewhat dense fog not only wrapped its arms around the morning, but it has also kept us held tightly in its embrace all day long.  Furthermore, as darkness closed in on us, it still hadn’t lifted.

The fog is an illusion–
A master of disguise;
Which hides the tangible
Before our very eyes.

It gives an air of mystery
That has long prevailed.
Dangerously intriguing
Is the fog’s foggy veil.
~Excerpts from a poem by W. Salley

Image

In the silence of its thick haze this strange January fog has been reducing visibility and cloaking our city and the outlying areas in its mysterious veil of shyness since first light.  In grayness not unlike a pigeon’s feather, it has literally held our world close to the ground all day long, coating all the eyes could see.  And lying heavy on all that it encompassed, it kept the sun pushed back which sheltered the earth, smothered most of the day’s colors, and blurred everything as it clung to all possible shapes it could find.

Foggy mist, misty fog
Marvelous manifestation
Of magnificent nature!
~N. Subbarman

The fog descends
in the wee hours of dawn
like a sacred thing.
~John Tiong Chunghoo

Image

Like most weather events, fog is often seen as some kind of spiritual force as it creeps along the ground and across the sky.  Actually there seems to be something about all weather phenomena that lends itself to perceptions of sanctity.  Perhaps tis so because all such events fall from the heavens overhead or, like the fog, are a part of earth’s mysterious beneath-the-surface workings.  And because they are beyond our control, we feel helpless to stop them and sometimes lives as well as homes are lost in the wake of the more forceful ones.  Genesis tells us that a mighty wind swept over the waters as God set about the business of Creation, and in His hands He held the elements of earth, air, fire, and water.  As He cast them out upon the wind, they were carried throughout the universe on its wild wings.  How could one not stand in awe and consider sacred such immense and mysterious powers!

In the beginning when God created the heavens and earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.  Genesis 1:1  ✝