An Angels Special Christmas Gift
by Steve Brunkhorst
Towering ponderosa pine trees reached up to touch a blue December sky. Their top branches waved to billowy white clouds sailing over the snow-covered Colorado forest. Sniffing the sweet-scented Ponderosa bark filled my head with the aroma of Christmas candles and butterscotch cookies.
I lowered my tripod to the ground, and pointed my camera lens toward the top branches of these living giants. Their pinnacles formed a lofty monument to centuries of natural perfection. If these trees could talk, they would tell tales of the forest dating back hundreds of years.
The sky was alive with moving cloud forms. I thought, “Maybe there will be some angel clouds to photograph today.” I walked into a small clearing to get a full view of the moving clouds. Suddenly I froze in my tracks, amazed at what I saw.
Upon a large boulder was a perfect angel made of snow. She posed graciously with wings spread while I photographed her from several perspectives. Her framed image would make a unique Christmas gift for a friend who collects angels.
I had witnessed again the magnificent perfection of nature; its artistic forest patterns are filled with divine symbols. All of creation bares God’s signature in ways we can read it.
Like a moment of compelling photographic light, every moment can bring gifts of joy and empowerment. Yet we must attend to them, and choose to see them with new eyes. Awareness allows us to see through the eyes of the spirit, and understand with the heart.
How can we increase our level of awareness to fill our moment-to-moment experiences with more wonder and joy?
1. Stop, and attend purposefully to sights, sounds, smells, and feelings in the present moment. Accept this unique moment as your own, and notice the perspective from which you view it.
2. Continue to focus on the feelings within your present experience. Rather than compare your experience with a previous one, bask in the moment. Focus on its uniqueness.
3. Return a silent feeling of gratitude for each experience, knowing that all events are divine gifts given to help us learn and grow in faith.
4. Record your experience by writing it in a journal, recording it on tape, or taking photographs if possible. Your recorded perspectives will allow the sensations of your experience to remain fresh in your memory.
5. Share your experience. Thoughts that continue to receive our attention will increase in our daily experience. Sharing our experiences divides the joy with others. It is also a great way to keep a newfound level of awareness growing and thriving.
The snow angel indeed provided a unique Christmas gift for my friend, and also for me. It’s a special gift that has kept giving year after year.
Every time I view the angel’s image, it reminds me to attend to the present moment, and to view the gift of life through a spiritual lens. Life’s perfection is always there, in sunshine and storm, in bright and overcast light.
I will always recall that crisp December day when I met an unexpected friend in the forest – an angel made of snow. Her reminder to see with the spirit’s eyes has been a life-empowering Christmas gift – the kind of gift one might expect to receive from an angel.
* All these pictures / images can be used for free.