Spot the Difference

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was page 14 of the Highlights magazine. It was the page that had the photo where you had to find the hidden items within the photo. I LOVED IT! I also enjoyed the side-by-side photos where you had to spot the difference. These were always fun challenges for me! Here’s a similar story…I was excited to post some photos that I took in the woods less than a week ago. I love the way the sun looks when it comes through the trees, especially when they’re barren.

But, as of yesterday, they don’t reflect our current reality. Here’s the “side-by-side” that reflects what we’re seeing now.

We’ve had some pretty steady snow since Sunday night, and we are blessed that we don’t have to go out in this weather. Everyone seems to be enjoying the landscape with the beauty it provides. A snow storm always makes me think of one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems.

The Winter Wood Arrives

I think
     I could have
          built a little house
               to live in

with the single cord—
     half seasoned, half not—
          trucked into the
               driveway and

tumbled down. But, instead,
     friends came
          and together we stacked it
               for the long, cold days

that are—
     maybe the only sure thing in the world—
          coming soon.
               How to keep warm

is always a problem,
     isn’t it?
          Of course, there’s love.
               And there’s prayer.

I don’t belittle them,
     and they have warmed me,
          but differently,
               from the heart outwards.

     what swirls of frost will cling
          to the windows, what white lawns
               I will look out on

as I rise from morning prayers,
     as I remember love, that leaves yet never leaves,
          as I go out into the yard
               and bring the wood in

with struggling steps,
     with struggling thoughts,
          bundle by bundle,
               to be burned.

Hope you’re all safe wherever you are—
With prayers for peace and unity—
Let us walk in the holy presence.