Breaking the Ice

ice, break through,I walked past many puddles crusted over with ice before I gave in to my desire to step on one and break the ice. This was something I enjoyed doing as a child and it still gives me pleasure now. There is something satisfying about the sound of the ice cracking and seeing the web of lines form on the surface.

Later I witnessed two young girls stepping on the same sort of puddles. The older sister looked at the younger and said, “You can’t break it because you have to be strong – like I am. Let me help you.” The girls held hands and jumped together, cheering when they broke through the ice.

The path I walk goes alongside a meandering creek. In the stillness I hear the faint sound of fractures in the ice. Along the bank I see areas where water flows beneath an overhanging ledge of ice.breaking ice

I am reminded the water has been there all along. It couldn’t be seen under the covering of ice but was still there, waiting for the right season to show itself again.

This is reminiscent of the hope hidden under the cares of life. When I dwell alone in the shadows there is no chance for the warmth to seep in and melt away the coldness holding me prisoner.

Sometimes we can’t break through on our own. We are stronger together. Let’s reach out and take the hand of another. Together we can break through the ice caused by isolation.

A Frosty Lesson

Nature, hoarfrostClimatic conditions needed to be perfect produce the spectacular view I was looking at. Tree branches coated with hoarfrost are a sight that thrills me.

The majority of my life was lived on Canada’s west coast and I’d never experienced this particular beauty until we moved to Alberta fifteen years ago.

I’d seen my share of frost, but nothing as photogenic as the feathery type that forms on blades of grass, tree branches and leaves. Hoarfrost is so much more than a simple coating of ice crystals.

Several times during the day, I sat and gazed at the beauty. Instead of venturing into the frigid air for a closer look, I enjoyed the view from my warm living room. By mid-afternoon the temperature hadn’t risen but a wind had come up, loosening the frost. Bit by bit, the ice and its weight was removed and blown away.

This scene reminded me of problems and cares in life. Like many others, I put on a brave face and tell you everything is fine. Even if I don’t feel that way, it’s important to ensure everything looks good on the surface. I sometimes forget that ice, no matter how pretty, still feels cold.

When I acknowledge my need to be authentic and relational the frosty mask starts to fall away. By sharing my concerns with others, I am able to surrender the many items I have no control over. The icy bits that were weiging me down get blown away by the warm breeze of companionship. Together we find peace.

My Favourite Crystals

crystal, cut glass,There are several types of crystals that I either own or have first-hand experience with.

The most common crystal is made from cut glass. When the glass is in its molten stage lead is added which gives it superior clarity and light refraction. Swarovski crystal is a well known example of this. I enjoy a few vases plus some jewelry pieces that are made in this way.

There are also natural crystals that are mined from the earth. These gemstone crystals are quite dull in their natural state. A lapidary artist cuts and polishes them in order to produce their sparkle. The diamond that my husband placed on my finger many years ago is an example of this.

Although all of these crystals are lovely, they require intervention to reveal their beauty. It doesn’t come naturally.

snowflakes, ice crystalsMy favourite crystals have a genuine beauty in their natural state. They are the ice crystals that fall from the sky. I see them sparkle in the freshly fallen snow. The elegance with which they softly blanket the earth still enthralls me.

Each snowflake is a delicately complex arrangement of ice crystals. No two are exactly alike. This uniqueness is part of God’s design.

Maybe the reason I am fascinated by these ice crystals is because they remind me of the way God made you and me. We are each wonderfully unique and beautiful in our own way. No outside intervention is needed. When we allow God to work in our lives, the beauty comes from within. It is then that we sparkle like the precious gems he created us to be.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. (Psalm 139:13,14 NLT)