Being a native Angelino from southern California, I had never seen snow, either falling or settled on the ground, until I was 24 years old. This is what happened. One day in winter we sisters drove up the winding road into the San Gabriel Mountains and spent a day frolicking in the snow. What fun!
Since that day, I have re-made that drive into the mountains during winter several times. I LOVE to watch falling snow. To me, it is a spiritual experience, albeit that it’s not on our driveway or the roads we need to travel on a daily basis needing the effort of a shovel regularly.
You might ask, “Why would it be a spiritual experience?” and I would simply answer, “Well, it is just SO. . . . . .beautiful.” Observing and meditating on beauty is a spiritual experience. White, glistening, and each flake softly-etched by God’s hand, snow is fascinating to me and it leads me to pray.
Sometimes people ask us Sisters how they can help a family member who has taken some steps back in their life’s journey and travel a different life path now, one without God. You can help them through beauty. Beauty is a path TO God. One example to me is the falling snow. Why? How?
It all began in about the fourth grade when we learned to make snowflakes out of white paper, imagination, a little bit of knowledge about symmetry and a pair of scissors. We learned that no two snowflakes are alike in the whole world from the beginning of time until now. Well, that is a mighty topic to meditate upon. I’ve been meditating on it ever since the fourth grade and I’m still not tired of it.
Perhaps during your lifetime you, also, have found a good spot near the fireplace and meditatively absorbed the warmth and secure beauty of the fire as you contentedly looked out the window at falling snow. Snuggled in the warmth and not pressed for time so that the time can pass comfortably and effortlessly, gazing at the falling snow, moves us to prayer.
Just to see it falling is restorative. For us in California, especially during these years of extreme drought, snow is not only beautiful but truly life-giving. We love the beauty, but we NEED the water. Water is essential to life.
All of this writing about “snow” is leading up to something. I want to compare the falling snow to God’s graces. They also are around us, dare I say like the falling snow, falling upon each and every person in this world – softly, powerfully, and beautifully flowing into our souls. We can’t see falling graces, though, can we? No. Often, I suggest most of the time, we don’t even know they are there. But they are.
During this new year of 2015, I hope I get a chance to drive to the mountains to watch the falling snow. For sure, none will make it to Alhambra where I live. Well, to be exact, snow has fallen here, a little bit, a couple of times in my lifetime. But they were exceptions. Anyway, that’s the suggestion I’m making to you, dear friend. The next time you see the falling snow (and for my fellow Californians, let’s change it (for now) to the falling rain) take a moment and just think, “God’s graces are falling gently upon me now just like this snow.”
This is not only a beautiful thought, it is real. It is true.
Happy and blessed 2015 to you! May His grace fill your new year with great joy!