First Snow

Way up north in the woods of Maine we had our first snow. For most of us, it was a wake-up call that winter is here. Snow blankets our garden, tucked to bed in the warmth of October days. We planted 200 tulip bulbs and patted the soil in a sign of farewell. My husband planted winter wheat that grew in the rich composted soil. Green sprouts waved in the wind. Could a plant really grow in late autumn here in New England?

Our warm, sunny fall felt like a trick. New Englanders waited for the other shoe to drop, for the Montreal Express to bluster into town. That expectation is always met.

So now I must look for new beauty, like William Bentley who was born on a farm in Vermont on February 9, 1865. He is famous for taking the first photograph of a snowflake. William Bentley said snow was as beautiful as butterflies, or apple blossoms.

He wrote these words.

               Of all the forms of water, the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow, that form in such quantities within the clouds during storms, are incomparably the most varied and beautiful.

                I must put on the mind of William Bentley. I must stop and study snowflakes glistening on an evergreen bough, white as stars, tiny megaphones of God’s creation.

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