I was up early, as usual, around 6:00 or so. Everything was still. The snowfall had ceased. A thick white blanket had hushed the morning. White sky. White ground. White trees.
Being the only one awake to witness the stillness of such mornings makes it seem as if you and the silence are merging somehow. The mental barriers that often seperate us from the reverence of nature's essence dissolve. There's a flowing together of the quiet and peaceful dignity all around with the unspoken and unmanifested part of one's self. Those are precious times to me. That's when I feel the "peace that surpasses all understanding" most fully, to get biblical about it.
Sometime around 7:30 I began to see some falling snow beneath the maple in our backyard. I thought at first that a squirrel had scurried over a branch and knocked the snow off. Then I saw more falling from another tree. Gradually an almost rhythmic pattern was observable as some condition of the rising temperature combined with a very fine fall of sleet to make the fragile accumulations on the branches surrender to gravity and turn loose their delicate hold. The result was a morning of hundreds of little snowfalls from hundreds of little and large limbs.
It was almost a magical vision. Except that there was no magic involved. Just the flow of nature's laws dancing an ancient dance. A timeless dance really. A ballet to the music of stillness.