Today was the first snow. I woke early for a work trip, and amidst my rushing out to the car, I noticed how quiet the world had become. I stopped for a minute and stared up at the sky as the snowflakes swirled around me, and I felt grateful that nature had reminded me that the world is bigger than I am.
As we enter into winter, I invite you to try to find a moment each day to slow down and look outside. Breathe. See what you notice. Imagine that God has hidden a message for you there.
In the spirit of noticing the first snow, I share with you a poem by that name that I love by Arthur Sze. Sze invites us to remember that despite our big plans and amassing of things, the world has only been lent to us for a time. This is cause for reverence.
A rabbit has stopped on the gravel driveway:
imbibing the silence,
you stare at spruce needles:
there’s no sound of a leaf blower,
no sign of a black bear;
a few weeks ago, a buck scraped his rack
against an aspen trunk;
a carpenter scribed a plank along a curved stone
You only spot the rabbit’s ears and tail:
when it moves, you locate it against speckled gravel,
but when it stops, it blends in again;
the world of being is like this gravel:
you think you own a car, a house,
this blue-zigzagged shirt, but you just borrow these things.
Yesterday, you constructed an aqueduct of dreams
and stood at Gibraltar,
but you possess nothing.
Snow melts into a pool of clear water;
and, in this stillness,
starlight behind daylight wherever you gaze.