Instead of a predicted inch or two of snow on Saturday, we landed nearly eight inches of the gorgeous white stuff here in northeastern Kansas. After the initial melting and subsequent settling, we still have close to six inches carpeting the area. It was the most luscious fall I’ve seen in decades! Huge, soft, gently tumbling to the ground, flakes of frost. Many were larger than a silver dollar! (Fortunately, though, not nearly as hard or heavy.)
On Saturday afternoon, I used my snow shovel to clear a path from the house to the barn for the evening feeding. Sunday morning, I cleared another two inches out. An almost miraculous stillness for this part of the country yielded spectacular scenes of snow piled up on the top of fenceposts and railings, even on the wires themselves. The wet snow adorned stems of dormant grass and dead weeds. Even bare twigs of the birch trees held an inch or more of snow.
One of the more impressive scenes, perhaps a bit oddly, was near the corner of the barn where I’d set up a solar powered electric fence charger last summer. I’d set a grounding post, a half-inch diameter metal rod, a few feet into the ground. Three feet of it still stands above the ground. When I moved the charger, I left that grounding rod in place along with the bare metal connecting wire still attached. It was so still and calm, and the snow an almost perfect degree of moisture, that nearly an inch of it accumulated on top of that bare wire!
As I traipsed about the place late on Sunday morning, taking pictures, I saw scene after scene testifying to that same phenomenon, repeated again and again: on dried out clusters of blooms from last summer, bare stems and naked twigs, sprigs of growth, the texture of tree bark, the details of equipment and structures. In the lee of a burn pile of lumber scraps and bits of fallen branches, the end of a long piece of an old two-by-eight plank projected out. It was covered with a slightly rounded mound of snow nearly eight inches deep. Just beneath it, an exposed spot of leaves and grass, surrounded by snow the same depth as that on top of the plank.
As I considered the wonder of such peaceful witness, I was reminded of the scripture, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
When we withdraw from the business of our lives for a while, when we set aside our to-do and to-be and to-have lists, when we isolate our minds to focus deliberately on him who is above and beyond and yet within and among, then we can comprehend. In the calm, peaceful, stillness… we can absorb so much more of his presence, his wisdom, his will, his teaching. We can be still, and know.