Different from the sum of its parts

Winter im Oberdorf by Jens Japel, CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Winter im Oberdof by Jens Japel, CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

“When I looked, I knew I might never again see so much of the earth so beautiful, the beautiful being something you know added to something you see, in a whole that is different from the sum of its parts. What I saw might have been just another winter scene, although an impressive one. But what I knew was that the earth underneath was alive and that by tomorrow, certainly by the day after, it would be all green again. So what I saw because of what I knew was a kind of death with the marvelous promise of less than a three-day resurrection.”Norman Maclean

I’ve written here before about the beauty of what lies hidden.  Winter is the epitome of unseen splendor, as the earth lies under a blanket of snow in much of the world, and the promise of spring sweetens our winter solitude.  Before the the year-end holidays are upon us, let’s take a few minutes to enjoy the silent consolation of nature’s magnificence, dormant at times, but always alive.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! That sure is a lovely scene: clean white snow and crystal blue sky, the sun shining like a diamond.
    It is amazing what lies beneath….
    We don’t have snow yet, although the weather report last night predicted a possibility.
    Dormant in my garden are the many seeds that Patrick unwittingly tilled into the ground at the end of this growing season, forgetting to remove the flower heads on the zinnias, herbs, fallen tomatoes, maybe a cucumber and a few weeds before turning them into the soil. I told him I’m not gardening with him anymore. It’s too much work! Sheesh!
    Well, I won’t have to plant anything next year…(?!??) Hopefully, we can have a good laugh about this.

    • Susan! I am always INTENTIONALLY scattering the seeds from this year’s plants, hoping they will appear next year! And surprisingly often, they do! You say that it’s too much work, but for me, it’s the lazy way of gardening…”let’s see what nature brings us this year.” 😀 My mother always called those plants “volunteers” but I have a theory (seemingly born of experience) that these “volunteers,” by virtue of a sort of natural selection, tend to be the hardiest plants. That’s my excuse for not working harder at my own garden. 😀

      • Ha! So if you get tomatoes, you love tomatoes, and if you get sunflowers, you love sunflowers! That’s really a wonderful approach to life! Thank you for sharing that perspective!

        • In general I’m not always a fan of surprises (they can too often unintentionally create chaos or stress) but surprises that LESSEN my work load are always welcome! 🙂

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