Wisdom of first snow

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, October 27, 2022

First snowfall of the season on our apple tree and mountain ash offers wisdom for life. Photos by Warren Harbeck

At dawn this past Saturday I looked out my bedroom window and what should I see, but a lesson for life for you and for me. We’d just had our first snowfall of the season, and our backyard apple tree by our window was exquisite in its new attire.

The snow embraced the branches and fall’s lingering golden foliage like an elegant white stole. Particularly amazing were the tightrope-walking snowy acrobats perfectly balanced atop the petioles, those thin stalks that link leaf to stem.

One scene stood out (lower right in accompanying collage): It was as if the “snowcrobats” were crossing the petiole arch between autumn and winter. What a great way to welcome the new season!

I grabbed my camera and took lots of shots. In the process, I happened to look across the yard to the mountain ash in the corner of our garden. It had been rewarding us with views of its red berries for quite some time, but this morning was different. Those clusters of berries were also attired in elegant white stoles! I promised myself that later that day, after I’d dressed for the outdoor occasion, I’d get close-up photos of that, too.

That’s when the wisdom of our first snow started speaking to me. By the time I’d actually made it into the yard, it had warmed up enough to melt almost all the snow off the branches and berries. I did find one cluster of berries still wearing just a hint of the new season, but its elegant white stole had now become nothing more than a weeping white topknot (upper right in collage).

And the lesson? Don’t delay in celebrating time-sensitive beauty!


© 2022 Warren Harbeck

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