Winter’s Hidden Beauty

Some thoughtful Iowa photographs straight from my husband’s camera. The interplay of white on color, the patterns of windswept snow after a storm–winter beauty. along with its cold.

Today I’ll try to tie together a few straggly ends–it’s been that kind of season.

Ernest Hemingway wrote, “…before you quit, try.”

Sometimes we feel defeated before we even begin and ask “How could this possibly succeed?” But inspiration may come in peculiar ways . . . I’m experiencing this right now.

Over the past four months, we’ve observed an extremely independent, accomplished loved one’s thought processes decline. What beauty could we possibly find in this?

Along the way it has struck me that, like snow’s patterns on natural objects, unexpected balance and perspective may appear at peculiar times in our journeys. Even what we normally classify as negative experiences may contain bright spots.

Last week we learned that our local nursing home had an opening for my husband’s mother. As her weakness escalates, this news comes as a clear blessing, znd her willing attitude gives us such a lovely example..

Most people hate the thought of leaving their homes for such a facility. But my mother-in-law has accepted her situation with grace.

She realizes she can no longer live alone, and as she said yesterday, “I’ve been waiting for an opening.” You can imagine how her positivity eases this transition. On her first morning in her new room, she said, “This is my home now–I don’t even want to go back at all.”

So we move ahead, with eyes open for surprises, glimpses of loveliness along the way–ready to try as we begin.

This week also reminds us of the beginning of the Battle of The Bulge on December 14, 1944. On December 7, I spoke with a man whose father fought through that horrendous winter at the Bulge and never spoke of his service (he won the Purple Heart.)

Those soldiers and their medical support teams certainly took Hemingway’s advice. Quitting was not an option . . . they had to try. The whole world depended on the outcome. One Iowan taken captive at the bulge was trudging through northern Germany to a POW camp in the cold, and on a nearby wall one day, he spied a loaf of bread. No one else in the long line of prisoners noticed it, so he grabbed it and ate the whole thing.

There it was…what he most longed for, right along the way. A beauteous discovery, and one that sustained his faith.

In the final month of this year, realizing my writing will come to an end some day, I reflect on why I write World War II stories. It’s really quite simple: I want to do all I can to honor those who sacrificed so much for our freedom. I want future generations to remember them.

1 thought on “Winter’s Hidden Beauty

  1. And you honor their memories greatly with your writing Ms. Gail. Have known about, and been praying for, you family’s challenge this year. I am thankful for answered prayers that your mother-in-love is transitioning well. As for your writing? I pray it does not end soon ma’am. So many more wonderful stories I look forward to reading from you. And thank you again for the sweet gift. I think I need to add that to my business card “Will read for chocolate.” 🙂 God’s blessings dear friend.

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