What is it about falling snow that captivates the imagination like nothing else I know? What is it about the first snowfall of the season- and the next and then the next that just creates a feeling of contentment and joy? That fills a heart with gladness. What is it about falling snow that just puts one in the mood for a seasonal celebration?
What is it about falling snow?
I think I know. Because it certainly set the mood for our annual family Christmas decorating bonanza, brimming box upon box drug up the narrow cellar steps and then heaved across the worn kitchen floorboards to the eagerly waiting crew. A flurry of fine dust particles and loose greenery settling on every inch of available floor space. And then some. Squeals of delight as a lost treasure or two is rediscovered. The boughs hung with great care by the fireplace, anchored on either side by solemn brass candlesticks scavenged from a relative’s home in one of those years already gone by. Back when there was little to none to decorate a humble home with. The music playing on in the background while I sneak sips of eggnog and chocolate covered pretzels in between chores, hoping the Littles won’t notice. Trying to get my second wind.
And then we all notice it- falling snow.
Gentle, steady- a work of marvelous wonder falling from the sky. Exquisite. Delicate. Tiny- things of beauty. What is it about snow falling? Calling to us- beckoning an invitation to us that we ‘come’.
And come we do. The Children run out of the house with snow pants too big or too little, and all the other essentials (Oh! with maybe a missing item or two, but who really cares?). It’s snowing! There are snowflakes to catch on curled tongues. There are snow women to make, sleds to dust off and wreaths to hang. There is fresh air to inhale deeply. And evergreen boughs to cut. There are kittens to watch, pouncing and crouching- hidden in the tracks made by excited girls as they pull each other along through that sticky, fresh stuff. There are sled rides to take behind Daddy’s four-wheeler, circling around and around the barn yard with three kittens following closely behind. There is snow to press into finely packed snowballs.
Falling snow. How can something which is falling give one such a sense of peace and hope? How can falling bring serenity? For truly anything or anyone else that I’ve observed which has fallen down or fallen apart or fallen to pieces has caused me to feel great distress?
I watch the snow.
And I sense the stillness. When things are falling, sometimes all that can be done is to stop and lean into the stillness. To embrace the quiet. And to let that which is falling, land where it may. To let it find a place of rest.
Christmas is such a complicated season. We want to love it so much, but there are times we just don’t. We feel rushed and pulled and stretched and worn. And sometimes we feel like we are fading. Falling. Like we are diminishing into less and less of us and becoming more and more of what is unrecognizable. Even to us.
There are simple pleasures like snow falling that bring such joy to our hearts. We so often take these little moments for granted in the hustle and bustle of daily living. But sometimes when we do find ourselves still- when we stop and notice: we find that everything inside us stops moving too. That all the voices in our head tend to quiet. All the anxiety starts to dissipate. And the still- the calm washes over us like a billowing, rolling wave. Allowing us to breathe. To take it all in.
And we realize that we too have a soft place to land even when we are falling. We too have a quiet place to stop and re-evaluate from whence we’ve come and to where we might be going.
And we too are exquisitely beautiful and unique and miraculous. Just like all that falling snow.