There is something magical about the first snow of the year. Somehow, the downy blanket transforms the mundane and common landscape into a wonderland of beauty. I remember the first time several inches of the white stuff fell during a home fellowship meeting at our house. I was six years old, and, upon emerging from our meeting to say goodbye to the good folks at Decatur Bible Church, our yard had transformed in those brief two hours with a quick four-inch blanket of fluffiness. OH MY! I had never seen anything like it. With round-eyed wonder, I looked up at my mother expecting the usual “time for bed” but saw the same excitement on her face. “Let’s go get our winter clothes on!” she said excitedly. She was from the north and hadn’t seen snow for several years, so we all ran back inside to bundle up and join our guests in an hour of freezing fun. I remember the constant laughing and giggles, the surprise at how heavy the rolling snowball got as we tried to lift up the body of the snowman, how stingy the snow was when a snowball exploded and fell down my coat, and how crazy painful my hands would get in my mittens! This early childhood memory from northern Alabama was the inspiration for my newest painting where I wanted to depict the wonder and excitement everyone has when a fresh blanket covers over the mundane mess of everyday life and transforms it into something of beauty. It reminds me of what God said to His children through Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow,” and makes me smile with joy every time. I painted the magic of this first snow, the evidence of the creative and playful mind, and the joy of returning to a fire and many laughs so that you, too, can feel all “WARM and COZY.”
~ Mark Keathley
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