Days Riding: 141 Consecutive Days Blogging: 123
Today’s Mileage: 5 Total Trip Mileage: 991
As I ride the bike and write today’s blog it’s snowing outside, large white flakes are slowly drifting to the ground. It paints a beautiful scene, although it is not yet “sticking” it is melting on contact with the ground.
Yesterday I took a walk along a local river, studying the rocks and shoreline clutter. I shared with you several “poems” I wrote on the walk. My partner Susan commented on the fact that my words did not meet the classification of poetry as they do not rhyme. I noted that I sometimes call these pieces my “musings.” It is not in my nature to spend time trying to label or classify my creative efforts. The important thing to me is the process of being aware, perceptive and receptive to my surroundings. I attempt to capture these perceptions in words and images as a form of celebration and as a way of leaving “bread crumbs” along the path, perhaps enticing others to follow and explore on their own.
The snow continues to fall outside my window. This leads me to ponder the spiritual significance of snow. I know personally I’ve always found it to have a very calming and tranquil effect on me. I suspect it’s because the snow covers everything, leaving the landscape smooth and pristine. In addition, the damping effects of snow seems to not only soften life’s sharp edges, but also it quiets and settles the mind. Several weeks ago we had a five inch snowfall. Looking outside, everything had a “Wonderland” appearance. It covered all the flat surfaces and left faint raised impressions of anything buried beneath it. Often the identity of the object was a mystery, like looking at a blanket and seeing the “lumps” indicating the present of some mystery object. Of course, the snow may not produce such a positive and peaceful feeling if you know you are going to have to shovel it!
I did an internet search on the “spiritual significance of snow.” I come up with fewer hits than I had expected. Many of the references were for people named Snow or the significance of the fairy tale Snow White. I did find several sites speaking of the meaning of snow from a Jewish perspective. The Rabbi Simon Jacobson noted that water was a symbol of divine knowledge, it’s “falling’ represents the transmission from the Divine. He noted that rain represented the “continual flow” from the Divine, which carries the risk of overwhelming the recipients. Ice, however, as a compact and solid form of water, freezes the “flow” and makes the Divine wisdom easier for humans to comprehend. Snow, he noted, is in an intermediate transitional state which allows the flow of information to descend so that it will not be overwhelming. He also noted that snow is special because it contains both water and a “nucleus particle” of Earth that acts as a seed for the ice crystal. Therefore, snow represents a combination of water and earth; it is half heaven and half earth!
Several internet sites spoke of the Christian perspective on snow. They noted that the whiteness and freshness of snow symbolizes purity and freedom from sin, and that after repenting for their sins, a person is described as being “white as snow.” Snow is often associated with heavenly beings who are usually wearing white robes. It was pointed out that the snowflake with its individual uniqueness is often used as an object lesson for children of the unique nature of each human being who has been created by God. One author did note that in ancient times being “white as snow” could have dangerous and frightening connotations associated with leprosy.
I reviewed a book entitled: “Everyday Tao,” by Deng Ming-Dao. His book of Taoist wisdom noted that: “Water is powerful. Although it can be soothing, comforting, and cleansing, it can also be enormous, mighty, and overpowering. Its nature is constant. It is true to itself in any extreme.” The author also discussed the importance of the color white: “White is the symbol for purity. In ceremonies, it is the color of spirituality. Since the ancients taught that we are already pure, they laugh at teachers who advocated penitence and self mortification as spiritual methods. They said: we are already holy. Why struggle to become something we already are?”
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