Thursday, January 15, 2009


This morning I am struck again by the beauty of the winter landscape. But it is a scary beauty, a sort of terrible beauty. The frost covers the trees like lace and the fog casts a delicate glaze over the landscape, unifying it, softening the harsh and hiding the displeasing. The snow absorbs the sound and forces a sometimes peaceful, sometimes eerie quiet on everything. Yet, I cannot let go of the thought of freezing and these same images take on a power that seems to underpin the beauty. Especially the ice.

It is the ice that catches my attention this morning. As we try to safely make our way to school, our car slides around the corner and then we take tentative steps into the building, hoping to not make unexpected contact with the pavement. I see the massive chunks of ice that have slowly broken loose from roofs and am amazed at the size this year, and glad to not have been near when they came down. Beautiful when the sun shines, rays of light finding paths through the crystals and cracks sparkle and the ice is lovely to behold.

All of which reminds me of two things. The first is the how God also fits so many of these descriptions. He covers our sins (Acts 10:43). He holds us delicately at times, knowing that we are dust (Gen 2:7; Ps 103:13,14). He desires for His people to be unified (Rom 15:5; Col 3:14). We can hide in Him (Ps 32:7). He gives us peace, which may seem eerie to those who do not understand (Phil 4:7). And He is powerful (Jer 10:12; Rom 1:20). Still, when I look at the snowy landscape what I see most is beauty and God is revealed to me through it, but revealed as the terrible beauty that defines what is sublime. Then I drink in the hush and sing praises in my heart.

The second thing of which I am reminded is the Robert Frost poem, Fire and Ice. It fits, perhaps in an odd way, with my meditations of the power of God, so I share it here. But maybe the connection is made only in my mind and I'm not sure I can adequately explain it because it puts in mind too many things for me to discuss here.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

In this mood of musing I went out to take photos of our winter landscape, but my camera is not cooperating with its port this morning, so instead of my own photography I share with you an image from a young lady I know. And another photo from another friend, that sums up our winter.


Laura Kirste Campbell said...

We had record snowfall over Christmas, you might want to see two blogs full of photos I took of God's icy winter wonderland.

I also have been making a month's worth of Valentines and have just released my newest stamp designs.

Love it if you stop by! God bless!

larin said...

Beautiful pics, and I love the Valentiens, too! --L