Silence so deep

Our back yard in the snow, 2010

Our back yard in the snow, 2010

“You wake up on a winter morning and pull up the shade, and what lay there the evening before is no longer there–the sodden gray yard, the dog droppings, the tire tracks in the frozen mud, the broken lawn chair you forgot to take in last fall. All this has disappeared overnight, and what you look out on is not the snow of Narnia but the snow of home, which is no less shimmering and white as it falls. The earth is covered with it, and it is falling still in silence so deep that you can hear its silence.”Frederick Buechner

There is something magical about awakening to a world that looks radically different than it did when you went to sleep the night before.  No matter how much trouble snow may ultimately cause, or how gray and dingy the drifts become before melting away, the first sight of an unexpected snow always takes my breath away.  Perhaps the new year has something of the beauty of freshly fallen snow: a blank canvas as yet untouched, framed by familiar surroundings that wear an added sparkle.


  1. Nice.
    Wish You Happy New Year 2013.

    • Thank you! The same to you and your loved ones. Thanks for visiting us here.

  2. mary ng

    Thanks Julia!

    Enjoyed reading the verses and pictures ver much!

    Blessed new year!

    Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 08:08:51 +0000 To:

  3. Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow!
    Love you!

    • Carla, I agree…as long as I don’t have to get out and drive in it! 🙂 Better to make hot chocolate and sit by the fire reading.

  4. There is certainly a deceptiveness to what can be covered up by snow. We bought out house in the winter. Only when the snow melted did we discover that the garden area was littered with old tires. Still, you’ve got to love the snow.

    • A similar thing happens when you buy a house that backs up to a thickly wooded lot in the summer – you don’t know anything about your neighbors (or even whether you have any) until the leaves fall away and you can see through the tree skeletons. Buying a house in the winter with snow on the ground would really hold some surprises in store!

  5. Sorry to occupy your comment space, but just wanted to let you know that “Will Write for Food (and maybe dental)” is now “A Way With Words”. It can be found at the same URL. For the story of what inspired the name change, go here –

    • No problem, I’m always happy to have discussion and I appreciate shared links. I loved your old blog title, but understand your reasons for changing it.

  6. Oh, I love this Julia. Your words are the skilled brush of artist, “a blank canvas as yet untouched, framed by familiar surroundings that wear an added sparkle”. Yes, that’s it precisely and so beautifully noted.

    • Thank you for the compliment, K – I appreciate the encouragement! I guess there is some benefit to having read so voraciously all these years.

  7. Rene

    Did I ever tell you about the time I chaperoned a Boy Scout Spring Camporee? I left sunny Moreno Valley on a Friday afternoon; woke up Saturday to an overcast sky endured cold that I was unprepared for; as I laid awake in my tent Sunday morning, not wanting to get up, I heard a chorus of “Ooh, ooh” from the teenaged boys. I crawled out to see our campsite, covered in snow. My tent promptly collapsed upon my exit. It was delightful!

    • Rene, I’m pretty sure you never told me about that (although the way my memory is aging, you could have and I just forgot). In any case, I am so happy you told me about it today. What a wonderful story! That could make a lovely poem or short story, actually. If I ever steal it to incorporate into a poem (my online courses at Oxford require me to write a poem every week according to a prescribe theme) I will get your permission first. 😀 The tent collapsing makes a great exclamation point to what happened when you got up and discovered the surprise. One thing that occurs to me, that makes me see you as a kindred spirit: some people would remember that as a bad memory, thinking only of the cold, the hassles and the not wanting to get up. I love that you describe it as delightful, because I see it the same way. Thanks for sharing that with the community, I’m sure it will bring smiles to those who read the comments.


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