A few days ago our family went for a drive one afternoon. It wasn’t a particularly pretty day out. For the most part here in the winter, cloud cover is very common during the day. However, the weather here changes very fast, and you can have quite a few different weather patterns here all in one day. So, when you get up in the morning, and begin to plan your day, just because it is overcast outside, doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to stay that way. At any moment, the clouds may be pushed aside and the sun can break through and shine, or those same clouds could just let loose, and snow, hail, sleet or rain!
Checking the weather forecast doesn’t help much either, I’ve found. There are micro-climates here that the weather reports can’t forecast. It may be raining 2 miles away, but snowing where I live. It has hailed a mile away, and the sun shone brightly with nary a cloud in the sky at my place. The kids have come home from school, and told me it was hailing in town, and out here, the sky is clear. You can take a drive, and in just minutes, you can see with your eyes how the weather changes, just by a curve in the road!
So, one of our favorite things to do is to get in the truck (with the four-wheel drive) and take off for an afternoon of exploring up in the mountains.
Today, we turned out towards a mountain lake here in Idaho that is pretty remote. We weren’t even sure if the road would be open to it, because it is way back up in the mountains. However, we headed that way anyway, and sure enough, the road to the lake had been plowed.... and while I wouldn’t have taken my front-wheel drive car down that road... our truck in four wheel drive handled it just fine.
It was a magnificent view, even though it was late in the afternoon, and the little sun we had seen that day had already dipped down behind the mountains in the west. We took our dogs with us, and they were so excited they couldn’t wait to get out of the truck and explore. Our German Shepherd almost knocked me down trying to get out of the truck and out to see what exciting things there were to smell!
As we walked down to the lake, we realized it was completely frozen over. The dock was stiff and unmoving, unlike this past summer when we had visited this lake and fished off this very dock. The water then had been deep and still, and very, very cold! Now, it just looked like a huge field of snow. If we hadn’t been there in the summer to see this beautiful lake, it would have been hard to believe it was a lake. It was frozen over, and covered in snow.
When we got to the lake, the dogs got very excited. Looks like someone had a great time fishing out here! They had left the bones, guts and blood after cleaning their fish. The dogs wanted to stop right there, and check this fishy business out, but we had more important things to do, and they were on a leash, so they had to follow, reluctantly!
You could see the holes where the ice fisherman had set up their camps, and went fishing. We didn’t see anyone out there fishing this afternoon, but you could see their circular ice holes everywhere.
You could see tracks of snowmobiles and perhaps even a car, we weren’t sure, or at least a four-wheeler out there all over the lake. Pretty brave people! They had been out there when the ice was soft, because the imprints their vehicles had made had frozen later in the ice, and the imprints were two to three inches deep. I was hoping to find that we could go ice skating out here. I’ve been wanting to ice skate since we’ve been here, and I haven’t found a place close by where it has been cold enough to freeze over, and skate on the pond. To my disappointment, I realized there would be no ice skating on this lake. The ice fisherman, and snowmobile people had made sure of that. They had been out on this lake before it was completely frozen, and was still soft, and had made a mess of the ice with deep tracks everywhere.
It was so quiet and still out there. We just drank in the beauty and wonder of it all. We left the lake, and walked back through the trails where the trees were covered in powdery sparkling snow.
I haven’t yet been able to take a picture to capture the beauty of these amazing trees covered in their white coats of sparkling crystals. I don’t think there is a way to capture it and send it to you… but oh how I wish I could! The stillness, and beauty of the trees ministers to my soul every time we walk through them.
Do you ever see something so beautiful sometimes, and feel like it hurts to see it, it is so beautiful?
That is how I feel many times here in Idaho. I think the beauty hurts because you know you can't take it with you.... and that something soon will come along to replace it, and it will be gone.
And so, you try to soak in the beauty into your heart so that it will never leave you, but of course, you know it will! I wish there was a way to bottle up all the beautiful, wonderful things that we have been able to see here in Idaho, and somehow preserve them forever, but of course, I know that’s not possible.
So, we just try to live life to the fullest here, and enjoy every. single. moment. with complete abandon!
Let the beauty of the moment overwhelm you, inspire you, encourage you, and thrill you.
May you find something so beautiful today that you realize it is a glimpse of heaven. Don’t try to grasp it in your hands, or bottle it up, but just open your heart wide, let the beauty of the moment hug your heart, and allow it to brighten the rest of your day!
And for a lasting smile of the day... here is a picture of our dogs, wore out after all the excitement of our afternoon cuddled up together in the back seat of the pickup on the ride home....