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From brooding skies belch handfuls of snow, etching tree trunks with lacy fingers, rounding shrubs with capes of ermine, and obscuring remnants of brown leaves mashed against fence posts. Winds rollick flakes in a centrifuge with a no turn-off switch.

Hours pass. Darkness encroaches this boisterous play. Within the halogen glow of street lamps, snow-swirls waltz to the strains of an invisible orchestra. Silence hushes this wintry phenomenon with wordlessness. And still it snows—throughout the night. With daylight comes a gradual surcease. Only traces of snow meander upon the white world, until finally exhausted.

Such displays reveal the white fire of an Unseen Presence beautifying the sordid, igniting our senses, and stirring our imaginations.

We are grateful.



Walking in my favorite garden pauses winter’s grief.

Morning sun toasts bracing air.
Subtle winds swipe bronze mobiles.
Earth-warmth sucks snow-encrusted beds.
Sand patterns swirl around clusters of azaleas.
Pond of tinsel-thin ice patches morph into shimmering waters.
Rushing streams jostle among stacks of rock.
Hidden beauty of skeletal trees reveal decades of endurance.
Chinese cork and beech trees hover candelabra-arms over spent grasses.
Stands of vibrant green bamboo glisten in the sun.
A two-sided bamboo shelter interfaces outer and inner worlds.
A flock of sheep, motionless these many winters, still heads northwest.

Yes, this is the Missouri Botanical Garden, a place of stillness and joy, but any garden will do.


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