Ice Crystal Cathedral
It occurs to me now that I have never seen the ice-storm put upon canvas, and have not heard that any painter has tried to do it. I wonder why that is. Is it that paint cannot counterfeit the intense blaze of a sun-flooded jewel?-Mark Twain
My husband and i were spending our first (reunion) Christmas together in Tryon, North Carolina when it happened. Upon hearing the news and warnings about the storm, we went out to 'gear up'. We bought a little stove, supplies of food, bottled water, batteries, candles, and firewood, should there be power outage. Sure enough, the uninvited would arrive, terrifying, destroying, shutting down entire metropolis. The freezing rain would cover everything with heavy, smooth glaze ice.
From our little emergency radio, came the report: "Trees and power lines, along with numerous other lightweight structures are down in many areas from Georgia northward, and highways are closed and impassable. The heaviest ice accretions are in southwestern North Carolina, where ice over 3/4 inch (20 mm) thick was reported".
The storm came and left, leaving her marks, and we thanked God we were safe. But, we had no power for three days, and we had to keep ourselves warm by the fireplace. That was cozy, but not for long. It was cold in the house as we moved about. With no running water, we had to drive to a nearby Clubhouse for our showers. We couldn't cook food because we had bought the wrong mini stove. We could not use it indoors, which was a laugh. All restaurants were closed, but we managed with the cakes, cheeses, leftovers we had. Our inconvenience would pale to the wondrous breathtaking storm aftermath we would behold.
Awed To Worship
When we thought it was safe to come out, we got into our car, curious to see the extent of the destruction the storm has done. Lo! Were we surprised! We didn't expect to be overwhelmed by nature's transformation. How could something as brutal as a storm create such incredible beauty? I thought i had entered another world. My eyes couldn't get enough of the crystal marvel, like that of a Disneyland Ice spectacle. I gawked like a child, relishing every minute of what i believed was a Godsent blessing.
The world is a showcase for beautiful churches and places of worship. Cathedrals are designed so that worshippers look towards the rising sun, symbolising the Risen Christ. Often, the architectural form of the building has the ground plan of a cross. But, how can any man made building with human limitations, compare with the design of the Architect of the universe? While standing amidst mountains and trees covered by what looked like trillions of icy, glass-like jewels, it was hard not to be overcome by a feeling of privilege. From every angle i could worship God in spirit and in truth, and with all freedom.
I felt humbled in His astounding presence and beauty. For some reason, i had this deep sense of validation, as if my Heavenly Father was expressing His love for me. Maybe because i needed it at a crucial time in my healing. Ice represents water, for cleansing and refreshing. Right there, I was getting spiritually bathed by His goodness. My whole being was joyful in gratitude. I wanted to dance, cry at the same time. I knew, with all confidence, that something new and more wonderful has been planned for me and those i loved.
Driving around in the aftermath of an ice storm, i was glad to have the new camera that my husband had just gifted me. It was my 'brush', a necessary modern tool to help me capture a very unique moment in my life. Mark Twain wished this natural wonder to be painted on canvas. He would have approved, how so many artists and photographers have wonderfully done so. I of course wished i had a better camera then.
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