“Snow brings a special quality with it, the power to stop life as you know it dead in its tracks.” – wrote Nancy Hatch Woodward – “There is nothing you can do but give in to the moment at hand —what I call the Zen of snow.”
A century earlier, Joseph Wood Krutch, while contemplating the man’s relationship with nature, observed, “The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.”
How simple this phenomenon is and how powerful its effect can be on the receptive mind shows our intricate connection to the source of life and its ability to evoke the subtlest feelings of sheer joy and unconditioned happiness.
Reading these reflections also reminded me of time when mesmerized by the intimate dance of white particles outside my window, I lost myself in the moment of constant perception and contemplation of nature’s beauty. In that moment, all of the troubles of daily life faded away into the distance and left nothing but presence and a feeling of oneness with nature.
The same sentiment of pure awareness is echoed by one of the dearest American poets Wallace Stevens (1879 – 1955) in an enthralling poem The Snow Man which appears in the collection Harmonium. Read here by a hypnotic voice of Tom O’Bedlam of SpokenVerse:
THE SNOW MAN
by Wallace Stevens
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.