Winter Snow


Photo Credits: Stan Harder – this afternoon, Abbotsford, B.C.

Winter Snow

Winter snow can be at once soothing or terrifying. It can depend on where it finds you; or, whether or not you own a warm coat. Your feelings may be influenced by the nature of the snowfall, or plans for skiing, or driving in it.
When you hear mostly wheels spinning, snow calls for a new definition of progress, or a shovel. Canada’s economic, political winterscape of record bankruptcies and constitutional crisis suggests we’re in deep – snow that is.

Globally, the revolution we’re experiencing in the organization of human affairs is like the howling blizzard. It transcends recession. It disregards national or international boundaries. It commands the strongest sense of urgency to adapt resources for personal and corporate direction. In a whiteout the best knowledge, instrumentation, experience and courage are all critical to survival. Nature – even frozen – is in pain. In every snowdrift – confusion. Humankind is affecting change at rates that outstrip our ability to adapt.

The child in us is awed by snow when it falls – fresh, lazy, fluffy flakes – late at night. All is calm – with built-in promise of enchantment at dawn. All is bright. Then, unsightly backyard corners and alleways – even surplus, stained lumber piles – are transfigured. Snowflakes – in quiet concert, transforming instruments of harmony – affording wholeness and peace to life itself. This is the snow of Christmas: How soft; how silently, how silently.. it melts.. the heart.

– Ernie Harder (Dec. 1991)

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