Here’s the thing about winter. Come December I actually look forward to it and the possibility of snow by Christmas. Come January I enjoy it when the snow falls, covering everything that was gray and brown with a crisp bright white. However, by the time February rolls around I’ve had enough and I find myself staring out the window wide eyed like a little kid waiting for the firs signs of Spring.
After a long week we decided to venture out for the day, take in a drive up the mountains and view the scenery of snow blanketing the valley below. As we made our way around curvy rounds and thick forest I was reminded again what it is about winter I like so much. Up here the snow was undisturbed, still pure white. Human feet and man made machines have not made their imprints on either side of us. Only a single road weaved through the mountain forest. Trees still holding clumps of snow like large gobs of marshmallow stood tall eager for spring to arrive and clothe them once again with green.
We parked at a game land lot and decided to go for a short hike along the 6 to 10 trail. Only one other car with a license plate that read; “mt wlker” sat in the lot with us. For a brief moment I wondered what the meaning behind the personalized plate was, beyond the obvious. It was more of wanting to know the story behind it.
As we entered the trail, covered with snow above our ankles, tracks surrounded all around us. Some of them were of the human nature; foot prints and tire tracks. Probably from hunters. The farther we walked into 6 to 10 the less human tracks we saw and soon a network, an infrastructure designed by furry creatures, was woven throughout the white carpet of the woods.
A rock wall to our left revealed large columns of icicles, a frozen curtain. I have a habit of exploring when I’m hiking. Hiking for me is not an endurance race. I’m not out to hike as many miles as I can in short amount of time and then come home and boast about it on social media. I want to take my time and not miss anything and so when the rock wall revealed it’s crystal light show I took a moment to explore it further. Up close we found signs a spring, literally frozen in time. New green fern buds and leaves trapped inside these large icicles revealed to us a small sign that spring is just ahead.
How often do you find yourself complaining about winter or the littlest of snow fall? When we get away from our daily routine, disconnect from the devices that seem to be surgically attached to our hands, and take time to look, signs of the next season are all around us. Sometimes the most obvious are the hardest to see. Why? I believe it’s because we’ve become too attached to worldly things such as careers, technology, homes bigger then we need, running kids all over town to the latest activity because we want them “involved” and to “succeed.” We’ve not only lost the skill of taking time to breath, but also the art of observing.
By now most of us, including myself are more then ready for spring. The news of more snow on the way seems to make us all grunt and complain in frustration. The truth is spring is just around the corner and there are signs, it’s a matter of taking time to look for them.
So the next time you see an icicle don’t think about how cold it is, instead look deeper into it, you may just find spring frozen in time inside waiting patiently for the ice to melt so it can reveal itself the way God intends. Behind the white curtain of snow and ice, God is setting the stage for a show on a grand scale and it’s name is Spring.
Remember, life is a journey that we are all hiking. So step away from routine, rest, hike by faith and enjoy the previews.
written by Brian Ford; HBF founder