Winter is definitely here!

Saturday it snowed for most of the day. Being that it was Shabbat (the sabbath), I was free to sit in front of the living room window and watch for long periods of time. It’s strange, but like sitting before a fireplace and gazing endlessly at flickering, dancing flames, I can watch snow fall for hours and not grow bored. Watching the fine snow slowly whiten the ground as it eventually formed a winter blanket, calmed the cacophony of sounds and thoughts that tend to run through my head on a normal day. Coffee (and later, hot chocolate) in hand, I reflected on the season and the fact that during the darkest time of the year, Chanukah brings us the miracle of light. This holiday reminds us that when in life’s bleakest, coldest, darkest moments, miracles can and do happen. With the first night’s candle, and for each day following, the miraculous light begins to increase little by little, shedding light on hopelessness and thus restoring awe, wonder and hope for spiritual renewal.

The peacefulness of watching snow fall added to the sanctity of the Sabbath, slowing down our bodies and minds, pausing to reflect on the spiritual aspects of life, refraining from the busyness of “creating” our existence. To sit and watch, reflect and listen, is a form of prayer, too. Days like Saturday remind me to connect to the Divine Presence, ubiquitous throughout creation. ┬áThe formal prayers of the day prevent one from becoming too insular, singular in thought, or isolated from the world at large. Yet, the isolation of the moment, sitting by my window watching the snow fall, was a time of connecting with Holy Presence and refreshing my soul; a beautiful, peaceful “island” in time.

And then yesterday, Sunday, I pulled on my boots and headed out into the invigorating air. I couldn’t let a photo-op pass me by! These photos were taken with my little Olympus point-and-shoot. I had let the battery run down on my D-SLR (Pentax), but I’ve taken many great photos with the little pocket camera, so I wasn’t too worried. After about thirty minutes though, the battery gave out on the Olympus, too. Fortunately I did get some shots depicting the fun and beauty of the day. AND, I decided I needed to do better about keeping back-up batteries charged and read to go. Oy. . . after all these years, you would think that I would learn. Oh well. . . enjoy these few photos. There will be many more in the days to come, I’m sure.

And there will be more days to contemplate the more holy aspects of life, too, while I watch snow fall.

Thanks for stopping by. For those of you in the southern hemisphere (or more tropical climes), enjoy your warm weather and/or SUMMER!