Friday, May 29, 2020 -
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Nature’s beautiful show

By the time you are reading this, the sun will be shining once again and spring will be back in the air, with the record snowfall of this past week but a distant memory. At least based on what I am hearing, most of you are so hoping!

Sorry to rain, uh, snow on the parade, but I am tickled pink with this charming snowfall. May 21, 2019. And not just a faint dusting, but a nice crest of milk white sparkling snow on all the colorful spring flowers and blooms.

And this time I got to be here in person! Not just hear about these record snowfalls over a telephone, as I turn green with jealousy at the thought of missing it.

I keep hearing remarks oscillating between global warming and climate change. Now with snow in late May here in Denver, climate change seems to be ruling the day.

Of course, I do feel bad for all of the gardeners out there whose plants have been affected. And all those snapped tree branches; my parents sustained a few in their backyard too!

But seeing as I am only visiting Denver and currently plant-less and garden-less, I couldn’t help but fall under the magic spell of this record spring snow — it always gets me.

Snow always makes everything more beautiful. The quiet landscape is enchanting as the snowflakes gently fall, with the inner warmth and joy it spreads. The pale pink cherry blossoms and yellow branched forsythia — now crested with snow — are even more illuminated. It does seem like nature is putting on a beautiful show.

For me, snowfall brings with it an ebb and flow, a push and pull of indoors-outdoors. For me personally, the snow is always an invitation to come out of doors. At the same time, it brings with it the joy of watching the snowfall through a windowpane as you stay cozy inside.

I think the surprise element of it is fun, too. In our developed age, we might have perfected predicting what the weather will bring, but we still have absolutely no control over it. What a humble reminder. There are some things in this world that will always be beyond our control. As much as the science of snow can be known — oxygen and the atmosphere, etc. — there is always mystery about weather’s arrival. Especially so with snow, which always feels like a bit of a playful and beautiful gift from the Heavens.

While we think it’s spring and the snow season is over, it comes along and says, “Hello again! Not so fast! Just because it’s mere days until summer break doesn’t mean I can’t come by and surprise you with one more, albeit modest but proper snowfall.”

We like to think we control things and for the most part we have an ordered world. Thankfully, we in Colorado do have the order and joy of the four seasons. But when a surprise snowfall like this comes along, it’s a reminder just how unpredictable things can be. After all, we are not in control of things as much as we like to think we are.

As long as there are no volatile storms, I’ll take this gently beautiful, blanketing snowfall reminder of our surrender to the mysteries beyond ourselves.

I have my record snow pictures of how early snow has fallen. A few years ago, in the first week of October, my nephew captured one of me holding the four species of boughs of myrtle, willow, a ripened date palm frond and a bright yellow citron etrog, all crested by snow. It was a snow-y Sukkot! Not that surprising for Denver, though.

And I am accustomed to the spring snowfall of Pesach. Each year I wait for it. The backyard’s snow crested cherry blossom tree, spreading out over the jade grass, framed by my mother’s kitchen’s white French window is, for me, one of Pesach in Denver’s classic visions.

But a snowfall on practically the eve of Lag b’Omer? Now we’re talking! I almost feel like reciting the nightly blessing of counting to Shavuot with: “Today is 30 (May 20) days, which is four weeks and three days of the Omer and Colorado’s latest spring snowfall in more than 40 years!”

I love seeing the unexpected fusion of spring and winter — it makes for an unusal and special Colorado hybrid.

Copyright © 2019 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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