A Beautiful Wonderland
As snow falls from the sky and covers the Earth, it provides a refreshing viewpoint of the world around us. This past weekend I woke up, looked out the window, and my breath was taken away. The trees looked so magical, as each branch was covered with snow, and the dark contrast of the bark stood with strength.
I walked around the entire farm, taking photos of the gorgeous scenery. As I turned around, I began to giggle. My four kittens were jumping into each of the footsteps I had left behind, and avoided putting their paws in the deep snow. I picked up the one closest to me, and warmed up his cold feet. As I bent down to look at the impressions we made, my mind was sent into an even deeper analysis state. I thought of the “Footprints in the Sand” poem, which is about a person walking on the beach with God. The two sets of footprints represented various stages in the person’s life. At some points the two trails become one, especially at the lowest and most difficult moments in the individual’s life. This is because during times of suffering, God carried the person to help them overcome the tough times. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why God created snow, so we would be conscious of the tracks we were making. According to the Bible, snow was not only produced to water the earth, but to make us stop and realize God’s power in creation, and to restore joy in salvation. As a photographer I find it to be a wonderful gift, because it provides the opportunity to photograph sparkling images.
All of this reflection made me want to photograph a special place, just down the road from my home. To get a bird’s eye view, I climbed in the bed of the truck, and focused in on the magnificence around me. The snow was laying heavily on the branches, which were entwined with one another creating a tunnel view. In the middle of this tunnel was the road ahead. As the road curved, the tunnel became smaller, creating a focal point within the image. The dark contrast of the road interrupted the surrounding whiteness, creating a sense of division within part of the design. Another strong aspect of the photo are the lines that were created due to the bark on the branches. They keep the image alive and powerful, even when the viewer squints to the point of barely being able to see the photo. When this occurs, photographers and designers know that they are focusing their eyes on a brilliant image.
This scene is impressive not only from a design aspect, but from a symbolic view as well. The white snow seems pure and innocent, while the dark branches provide a sense of gloom and sinfulness. The path that this entanglement surrounds, is clear and obvious, but it still has a few curves along the way. Proverbs 3: 5-6 immediately come to mind, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” The straight paths metaphor seems to match perfectly with this image. When driving down the path illustrated, it may be difficult to slow down for the curve ahead, or the driver may hit a patch of ice, and veer off into the ditch. It’s important to remember, God promises to guide us through the tough times, but not to remove difficulties from our path. The path depicted in this image seems clear and smooth, if only life were that easy.
Life is beautiful, just like the snow in the slideshow below. It’s crucial to always pay attention to the breath-taking gifts that are provided to us. If you feel inspired to take snow photos, remember to change your camera settings or you will end up with blue snow. And you don’t have to be a dedicated photographer like me, and ride in the back of a truck, with snow hitting you in the face, just to get a stunning picture.