Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)
TITLE: The Sweet Silence of Snow
By Joanne Cordaro
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It’s January and nearly midnight. I should be in bed, but I simply cannot resist the temptation. I’ve been watching out the window with childlike excitement. It’s been snowing for an hour or so already. I wrap myself up to keep warm and step out of my back door, onto the patio. I am immediately enveloped by the stillness. It is so quiet that I try not to even breathe too loudly, lest I ruin the absolutely perfect silence that surrounds me.
I live in a little town in the very busy part of New York known as Long Island. And yes, even here in bustling New York, there is magic in the snow. In the serenity of this snowy evening, I can actually hear the snow crystals landing on the ground. I love the sound of snow. Have you ever actually listened to it fall? There is a hush in the air with only the slightest tinkling of ice crystal hitting ice crystal as each lands softly to its heaven-appointed destination.
From my location on the Great South Bay, there are few lights to interfere, so I am blessed with the view of beautiful star-filled nights all Winter long. Our Winter evening skies are generally cloudless with brightly lit stars polka-dotting the dark. But tonight, as you may imagine, it is snowing heavily enough that only the biggest and brightest stars are noticeable.
I draw in a slow, deep breath. Ah, the smell. The air is crisp and clean; not at all like the humid summers when we experience frequent ozone troubles, pollution alerts, and low tide odors. The wind is not blowing on this particular evening. It is a soft snowfall, like the perfect ones shown in the movies. I select individual snowflakes and follow them intently all the way down to the ground and watch as they join their brethren.
I look around my little backyard. The snow is perfectly manicured by God’s hand. Neither human nor animal has trod on it as yet. I smile as I think that it won’t look like this tomorrow morning when my 6 year old German Shepherd pup tromps excitedly through it. She will bark and bounce in utter joy as she sends the snow flying in every direction. And as I watch her enjoy the snow in a way most can’t, I will thank God that He remembered to give His animals joy, too. But for now, He has bestowed upon me the joy of His gift of a brilliant white blanket of snow laced with shiny ice rhinestones.
I notice the snow as it sits on different objects. Just an inch of snow changes the looks of many things. It looks like God took hold of a paint brush and created art, just for me. The deep green of the pine trees, the contrast of the red bird houses, and even the tan wisps of summer’s left over decorative grasses are all enhanced by His snow. I touch the piled snow and rub it in my fingers. I somehow know that He is watching me enjoy his creations.
Have you ever seen the aftermath of an ice storm? Yes, it presents challenges, but it also presents a beauty beyond description! Every tree covered in a thick layer of translucent ice twinkling in Winter’s low angled sun. It is simply mesmerizing to watch as the sun changes the view of the ice.
Winter is a rest period for humans, animals, and plant life. It is a time of preparation for the rebirth that comes with the bustle of Spring. Winter is the perfect time for a lazy Sunday afternoon spent reading a novel, mug of hot tea nearby, and a sleeping cat curled up on the warm fuzzy blanket on your lap. There are few things better in life than this!
So, when Winter comes, be alert. Look for God’s gifts. I promise, they are there.
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