(Big Lake, 9 Jan. 2016)
Winter is an interesting time. The warmth of the summer fades away quicker than you can say goodbye, and soon after, the chilly months of candy apples and pumpkin spice fill the air. Unfortunately, those days seem to last for only a few seconds. Moments later, the snow arrives. Winter arrives.
When snow appears in Bend, it seems to last forever. The frigid, bitterness arrives early and lasts for as long as it wants. Though we love the beauty it brings, we always prepare ourselves for May, when the days of sunshine and sunburns greet us again.
I’ve never understood why I dislike these months so much, but living in Bend has taught me that snow doesn’t last for just a few days – it lasts for months and months. Yes, the snow falling silently at night has always been a delight to wake up to, but the days to follow are always cold, wet, and unnecessary. Even though certain months declare themselves as winter, this sort of weather believes it can still surprise us even in the late evenings of April. The snow no longer takes into consideration the date, the snow can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants. This is just one of the many reasons why I hate this time of the year.
A few weekends ago, I found myself at a winter camp for the youth at my church. Going into the weekend, I was stressed. Stressed about being late to the church that day, stressed about school, stressed about work, stressed about not knowing where my bags were – basically I was stressed about everything that a 19-year-old girl could be stressed about. After my small moment of falling apart, I hopped into the last available car and headed West for the weekend. Leaving all my worries behind, I prepared myself for a fulfilling weekend at the cabin.
On the second morning, I was wandering around the area and found myself standing in front of the frozen lake. That is when I decided to take this picture. A soft blanket of white covered each of the trees; making everything look so pure, so simple. In that moment I realized that snow was able to take everything and make it completely new. Standing alone in the woods for just that moment, made me feel like all those things I was stressed about before were finally fading away.
It wasn’t until after camp that I realized that this time of the year isn’t as horrible as I always made it out to be. I eventually understood that God could transform each thing He has created back into the purest form. He can create the peace that we need to see in the exact moment that we need to see it. Though I realized this weeks after camp, it was still reassuring to know that He always has a specific way of showing these things to me, in the timing I need to see it.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:17
This winter I was taught how to say hello to the snow. For that, I am thankful.