Snow glow and Christmas

December 20, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Here’s my theory and I went outside, in the country, well away from town lights, with the house dark, to prove it: if there’s good snow cover, there should always be enough light to see one’s way because, no matter where you are there is always ambient light. 

Even under a darkened, cloud heavy sky, with basically no moon, there is still ambient light that the snow will be able to reflect.

There can be days when the raging snow and the land are all of a moment, blending together so ferociously that the horizon, not close and not far away, can not be distinguished. So, one is lost, blinded in direction, but not out of light. For the white and dreadful snow of a storm is full of light – that blocks the sense of vision but not vision itself. However, if one had a compass or stones enough to show the way, there would be enough light to get home. In theory.

I am not a fan of snow and winter in general. Yet, when I came to this thought while I was shovelling the stuff, it gave me a different take on snow. The colder it is, the more likely is my theory to prove. In the crispiest of cold, snow sparkles, not surprisingly, as it is made of ice crystals. 

There was one bright moonlit New Year’s Eve, here in Hockley Valley, I walked home from a neighbours’ party with a friend and Patricia, as a child, at three in the morning. It was such a night: bitingly cold but a blue moon hung over my house toward which we were walking, while yet a few flakes of snow fell, as big as hands, taking their time to reach their fellows, already covering the earth as deeply as a featherbed. 

Everything sparkled. Twinkled, unbelievable. It was a long time ago but the picture of it made an indelible mark in my mind and that of my old pal – we still mention it from time to time. 

While I was pondering my new theory, seeing snow as a benefactor of sorts, I wondered, is snow like hope? Always prepared to light the way, being filled with light, but fraught with inconvenience and challenge, hope can be very stormy and it can blind us to what the truth is, if you’ll allow truth to be compared to a horizon. Still, while there is light, we can make our way if we have discovered within ourselves the right direction.

Snow is a force of nature, not a motive nor a philosophical tool. Hope is a force of nature within our beings. It too has no motive but to keep us alive and to offer the stimulus for philosophizing, for creating a way out of terrors.

Christmas is all about hope; it is about lighting the way. Give me the old story any time. At the time of Jesus’ birth, there were many tales of angels, strange birthing, life from death. If you take away the angels, the dazzled shepherds, the mystery around Mary’s pregnancy, the visit of the three kings who were led by a star and their own astrological wisdom, then you have a fairly dull tale of a couple who were stuck to have their baby in a barn because the hotel was full and the innkeeper was a callous man.

If you take away the magic, you land on ordinary and, once in a while, we need extraordinary, in order to maintain our ordinary and, sometimes, very difficult lives.

There are many marvels all around us. Just because they don’t come knocking at our doors, a being with wings and full of light, saying, “Hi there,” doesn’t mean there are no angels. If you take away miracles, you could reduce the light and diminish hope.

Today, as I write, there has been another heavy snowfall. I’m grumpy about the idea that this is only the beginning of winter, with the promise of lots more snow to come. The cost of it; the inconvenience, the dangers.

Yet, as I think about the trio of light in Christmas, in hope and, yes, even in the snow, I feel the light in my mind, realizing there is always a way ahead for all of us. We can check our emotional compasses and look around us for the stones, knowing they are there for the finding. 

This is a world of fires and madmen. 

Christmas and its wonders matter more than ever, as do all the other celebrations of light at this time of year. Just for the moment, it’s all right to believe. Sing those songs that put you in the best place and relax to let the light shine in your own hearts.

From this writer, with deep sincerity, I wish you Merry Christmas; happy holiday – here’s to the lights they bring – into our minds and lives!

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