The King of frosts: an excerpt from the current manuscript

This is a sample chapter from my current manuscript–a compilation of reflections on nature.

The King of frosts

Winter also brings its revelation of beauty. The mantle of gleaming snow, the abundant clusters of ice crystals, the artistic work of the King of frosts give a glory to winter. The little brook bordered with a glazed and sparkling frost-work is not inferior in beauty to the brooklet when fringed with the most gorgeous flowers. Even skeleton weeds, when incased in ice and in the firm grip of crystal fetters, are radiant and resplendent.

Some years ago the writer witnessed a scene that still hangs as a picture of rare beauty in the chamber of memory. It had sleeted almost all night, but toward morning some snow had fallen. When day was come I went out into the woods. Every branch and twig was cased in pure crystal. Some of the willows, and even sapling oaks, were bent into half-circles, having their tops frozen to the ground. Objects that in summer might have detracted from the beauty of the scene were now beautifully bedecked with crystal gems. When the sun arose and sent his piercing rays abroad, some of the most gorgeous arches, most splendid canopies, and grandest cathedrals were to be seen. The dazzling sunbeams piercing the ice-incased twigs, which were thickly clustered together, were transformed into prismatic colors, and presented a most gorgeous scene. When it had become a little warmer I went out into the woods again, and I found that the twigs were being released from the firm grip of their icy fetters. The ice was falling in showers. There was music in the air, and one seemed to feel that nature was speaking to his soul.

When nature speaks, what does it say? If it only speaks of and draws attention to itself, then the message is mundane; but if it invites us to admire and praise the One who designed it and sustains it, then the message is divine.

“From some celestial source,
like water singly fallen
for some greater purpose
than simply quenching thirst,
a snowflake falls upon me—
without a darkened cloud,
without melancholy,
without a chasing torrent,
a single snowflake falls,
alighting on my body,
delighting in the small
illumination that it brings.”

© 2015 Brandon Scott Elrod


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