Time, Seasons, and First Snow

Well folks it’s Thursday, the first day of November and we enjoyed our first real snowfall here in South Fork last Monday night and Tuesday morning.  By my measurements we had between 7 and 8 inches, with drifts of 10 to 12 inches.  Last Monday morning as I washed the Ranger off from a previous trip up into the mountains, I thought briefly about hooking up the snow plow in preparation for the expected snow.  Nawww, I told myself, we’re not going to get over an inch or two.  I’ll do it later in the week.  Like I said, we had 7 or 8 inches of snow but when the county snow plow comes by and throws it into a long pile across your drive way, it transforms into a 3 feet high berm.  My neighbor across the street, who isn’t a procrastinator, (other than this, he has very few character flaws that I have noticed), had anticipated that the snow fall might be enough to require plowing and had his snow plow attached and ready to use.  (The dictionary tells me that anticipation is the opposite of procrastination).  I have given it some consideration and concluded that anticipation often leads to preparation, and both of these traits do have their merits from time to time.  I have decided that tomorrow, I am definitely going to subject these character traits to further scrutiny, and at some point, I will release my findings.  I looked out the front window, and my neighbor was plowing the entrances to our driveway for mylove and I so we wouldn’t have to jump the berms to get onto the road.  A little later he sent me a text offering the use of his plow if I needed it to move any more snow.  As it turned out, I had left my cell phone in the cabin while another neighbor and I shoveled snow to make paths to my truck and the wood pile.  Mylove pointed out that my phone was on the bar as I walked out the door.  I told her “I know.  I won’t need it so I’m leaving it in the cabin.”  After about thirty minutes or so of shoveling, I came back inside, heard my phone, and saw the text.  Mylove said that it went off about the same time that I shut the front door but she didn’t figure it was very important so she didn’t check it.  It occurred to me that this might be another example of how anticipation could have been useful, and saved me thirty minutes of shoveling.  A little later I saw my neighbor and thanked him for clearing the drive entrances and for offering the use of his plow.  I told him “Thanks, but I don’t need the snow plow, I just finished shoveling it by hand and anyway, I needed the exercise”.  “I’m definitely going to have my plow ready to go before the next snowfall, you can bet on that”.  He just grinned.  Not sure how to take that.

First Snow!  You know, there is always something special about the first snow.  It still gives me a feeling of excitement.  I grew up in East Texas.  If we got snow in the winter, it was there one day and usually melted away the next.  I used to watch the Christmas shows on TV and it seemed to me that they all had one thing in common.  Snow! I dreamed of Christmases with snow-covered trees, and sleigh rides, and sledding and that one day I would be able to spend Christmas somewhere that has snow.  Well God allowed me to turn that dream into reality.  I’m here in the Rockies where snow is a pretty common occurrence and can come pretty early, especially in the high country.  We’ve had snow in the higher elevations for a month now.  The Fall colors are mostly gone and the orange, red, and golden-colored Aspens that a few weeks ago covered the mountain slopes, as well as the bright amber hued Cottonwoods growing along the Rio Grande across the road from our cabin are but now a memory to be filed away until next Fall.  Pictures can’t begin to capture the awesome beauty and grandeur of God’s creation, and in South Fork we are truly blessed to be surrounded by some of God’s best work.  In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is talking to God and says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”   I’m not going to attempt to address each of the times and seasons to which Solomon was referring.  I just want to look at two words that he used “time” and “season”.  Time is meaningless to God;  He is eternal.  He always was and always will be.  He created time for us.  Season is a word that marks a change in something.  It can be the beginning or it can mark the end.  Time and season represent a cycle of change over a period of time.   Of the cycle of changes that God placed in nature; Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, my two favorites are Fall and Winter.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the change that Spring brings each year with its awakening from Winter’s nap.  The freshness of a new beginning.  To me, Spring represents a time of rebirth and the freshness of youth.  I also enjoy the change that Summer brings, outdoor activities, cook outs, and getting together with friends and family.  To me, Summer represents the transformation from youth to maturity as an adult, and the settling of nature following the transformation of Spring.  When I was younger, Summer was my favorite season.  School was out for three months!

I said earlier that Winter can come early here in the Rockies, and although it is still technically Fall, Winter made an appearance last Monday and Tuesday in South Fork.  It amazes me how snow transforms a landscape.  Snow not only covers over the land’s imperfections with a blanket of white, but it also opens up a whole new world that couldn’t be previously observed.  To me the first snow represents a Spring like newness and freshness, while Fall’s transition into Winter represents maturity and settledness, much like Summer.  Snow in the Rockies also signals the approach of Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.  Mylove’s favorite is Thanksgiving and mine is Christmas.  This is the time of the year when I begin reflecting back on Thanksgiving’s and Christmas’s past, and also looking forward to the soon-to-be Thanksgiving and Christmas that is approaching.  It is during this time of the year that our thoughts turn more frequently to friends and family, and giving thanks to God for our many undeserved blessings.  So folks, take the Time to enjoy all of the Seasons of your life.  It is my prayer that this will be a season that brings you great joy, peace, and love and may we never loose that feeling of excitement, wonder, and joy that comes with First Snow.

Bon Iver

South Fork Sojourner

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