Monday, March 3, 2008

A Snowy Night. . .

Last night after Jackie and I got home from shopping, I took Luke, our St. Bernard, out to Pipewort Pond the little nature refuge north of Bristol where I take many of my pictures. What a wonderful night. A couple of months ago I bought a pair of snow pants at a resale shop. A couple of weeks ago I got a pair of like new insulated boots and a wonderfully warm and very heavy leather coat at the same store. I'll bet that coat weighs 10 lbs. This really isn't meant to be an advertisement for Goodwill, but all these things cost me less than $10 total and I was totally comfortable in the knifelike cold west wind and moonlit, knee to thigh deep snow. It is amazing what a difference warm clothing makes in your enjoyment of the winter weather.

The loop around the refuge is a little less than 1 mile (.86 as measured on Google Earth). The wind was bitter, the snow was deep, it was very quiet. I was very warm and comfortable. The moon was in and out of the scudding clouds. It was Luke and I and God in a deeply restorative and peaceful hour. I walked. I prayed. I worshipped. Luke ran and ran and ran. The virgin snow being so very deep on trail made me slow my pace and take my time. Hurrying was not a possibility. A number of times, I had to stop and rest, not accustomed to with every step my being a bull dozer/snow plow. I merely sank to my knees and immediately I was hugged by the downy comfort of the embracingly deeply drifted snow. I would sit quietly for a moment enjoying the peaceful scene. I was very still and it took a few moments before Luke would realize that something was amiss. His normal position would be romping 30 or 40 yards to the front of me, always checking to the rear for my progress and direction. When he discovered my motionlessness and prone position in the snow, he would turn and come galloping at me and in an exhuberant body slam, very nearly bowling me over as he discovered me to be all right and accessable to his attentions. We would embrace and I would give him a good scratching or have a one sided snow fight with him periodically around our little loop.

God was there. I talked and He listened. He talked and I listened, all the while Luke ran and ran and ran in the soft stillness of this snowy wintry night. . .

Dave Stokely

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