On Thoreau and Snow

Here in middle Tennessee, we find ourselves pretty well buried in the snow that has covered much of the country these last few days as winter storms have moved through. Early this morning my husband saw several deer coming up the street and cutting through our driveway. I was able to capture a picture of their snow tracks they left behind.

Deer tracks in the snow in our driveway

This week, we have been fortunate to be able to stay in and be warm and safe while the roads around us are treacherous. Despite feeling cooped up, it is nice sometimes to have the down time to rest and reflect and to watch the deer. I have extra time to do things like read more and today I pulled out one of my favorite books of poetry, Thoreau On Man and Nature. It’s a compilation of Henry David Thoreau’s writing that I found in an antique shop about ten years ago, and one I like to read pretty often. I re-read this observation today and it seems appropriate for this week:

“We are rained and snowed on with gems. What a world we live in! Where are the jewelers’ shops? There is nothing handsomer than a snowflake and dewdrop. I may say that the maker of the world exhausts his skill with each snowflake and dewdrop he sends down. We think that the one mechanically coheres and that the other simply flows together and falls, but in truth they are the product of enthusiasm, the children of an ecstasy, finished with the artist’s utmost skill.”

Now winter is my fourth favorite season, and I generally dislike snow, but that does make snow sound a little more magical than the dreary reality we seem to be plunged into around here right now. It’s nice to not be so caught up in the trivial details we all get bogged down in to be able to stop and recognize the simple beauty in the snowflakes we have received. But I still hope it hurries up and melts sooner rather than later.

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