The above picture was taken from my fourth story apartment window this morning shortly after I rolled out of bed, wondering why the norm of a warm (in color only) orange and pink morning aurora wasn't doing it's usual job of waking me on my day off. Even at 26 years old, I never cease to be in awe of a fresh blanket of snow when I get to see and experience it for myself. Maybe it is the school child in me that remembers that snow, when we rarely had snow, was associated with missing school, or maybe that growing up just barely on the Oklahoma side of the Confederate border I was never exposed to what is considered traditional winter precipitation enough to be jaded by its annual visitation. Whatever the case may be, I find that I can never be complacent about even the slightest frosting on the ground.
In a way, it has this magic quality to it. Not the Penn and Teller, Criss Angel slide of hand nonsense, but rather the kind of magic that is real, or at least was real when you were a child and magic was the explanation for all things ineffable. For me, there is this calming feeling that comes with it as it falls and covers everything below, showing just how small and vulnerable the world around us truly is: it has no answer to the collection of minuscule, fragile flakes of whipped water that cover it in such a duvet of purity. I know that there are plenty of examples of natural weather that pronounces itself in such ways that covers and/or lays waste to its surroundings, but none that give such peace.
When I see a yard or street of fresh, undisturbed snow, as was the case today, I see the wholeness in the good of the world. I feel the innocence of who I once was laying before me, waiting for me to ramble through it in such a way leaving it to resemble the thrashed and chaotic dissidence I carry within myself, about myself, on a daily basis. It lets me know that there is still untapped brilliance within me, within you, in that although every sheet of every layer of snow seems uniform in size and color, the uniqueness each flake holds tells a different story of it's decent from the heavens to the earth. And finally, it is the embodiment of the metaphorical end of the cyclical composition of our worlds: In nature, though the grass and trees never actually die in the sense that we as animals know death, they do go into a point of rest in order to be prepared with the energies necessary to bring forth new fruit and decorative flowers.
The two winters I have had the privilege of experiencing here in the Grand Ronde Valley have not failed to disappoint in teaching me more about life and myself than I ever thought I could know, and from what I've been told these have been rather mild winters. I can't imagine how enlightening a regular Eastern Oregon winter season would be.