Winter’s Wonder

There’s a beauty in the starkness of winter. The hard black lines against crystal white brilliance. The miracle of an infinite number of tiny individual flakes seemingly broken off from the white sky and falling to the earth.

But I lose my wonder sometimes in the grey sky and endless stretches of monotone. I might even lose myself on occasion. Trapped, buried, hiding where it feels safe. Inside by myself.

Winter hurts—my hands, my joints, my mind—and I’m tempted to stop there.

I’m tempted to miss the snippets of color captured in the trickle of stream, the curl of peeling bark, the echo of laughter. If I’m not paying attention, I miss the world carpeted pink in reflected sunrise, the soft fuzz of a willow catkin.

Over the last few days, I’ve spent time breathing—finding space, rest, direction. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do this whole year. I don’t have a special focus word or really a plan for the year. I find that I don’t even knew what next month should look like…or next week. But I know today.

Today, I see these things…and then I show them to you.

I hope you enjoy these little bits of winter’s wonder. Praying that you will find beauty in your journey.

Reflections in stagnant water.
Contemplating snow.
Curl of river birch bark.
Fuzz of a willow catkin.
Bones of a flower.
Doggy companion.

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11 thoughts on “Winter’s Wonder

    1. Thanks Pearl! It’s so hard for me to find beauty in the winter…and so easy to be buried under the gray. It just means I have to look harder! I think I might try taking my camera out once or twice a week just as a challenge to see what I can find…

  1. I absolutely loved your photography! I love searching for beauty in the gray of winter. To me gray can be glorious when you can see God’s Hand in All that He created. Great thoughts.
    Laurie Petroelje

    1. Thanks Laurie! Photography has long been something I’ve enjoyed. It feels like I’m “wasting” time when I take the time to do it, but I need to do it more often. I took more photos yesterday. We’ll see how quickly I can get them processed and I’ll post some more.

  2. You are a wonderful photographer! Those spaces that are just one day at a time are the hardest- praying you feel God’s nearness and peace.

  3. I enjoyed your post. It reminds me of my own blogs’s theme, and this short but succinct poem by Mary Oliver:

    “Pay attention./Be astonished./Tell about it.”

    You do. You are. You have.

    1. Thanks Richard. I so enjoy your photos, too. Photography is often something I stumble to and latch onto when I lose my words. Somewhere inside the created world I find the place to pause and be filled again. I need to make a better habit of going there BEFORE I’m empty.

      I take comfort in the fact that I’m just a work in progress 🙂

  4. Jaynre:

    I liked your reply to my comment; especially: “I need to make a better habit of going there (nature) BEFORE I’m empty.”

    You must be very proud of your many accomplishments in writing and publishing. You are doing God’s work.

    As a Naturalist, there is something I must bring to your attention. Your fifth photo is not a willow catkin. It is a Willow Pine Cone Gall, named for it’s resemblance to a small pine cone. When I taught middle school, we studied Galls as part of our winter session of outdoor education. If you look at the second and third photos on my post “Catkins and Warblers” it shows good examples of a willow catkins:

    May God continue to shower you with gentle blessings,


    1. Thank you so much for the correction, Richard. Whenever I learn something new, it’s a good day! I’m definitely not a trained naturalist, but I love nature. And I’ll take those gentle blessings too 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’m reading a book called Rhythms of Rest and I’m further convinced that rest is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. It isn’t useless, but productive. We’ll see how it goes in long-term practice, and what it looks like next year at this time. But for now, it’s a goal to find a rhythm I can keep.

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