When it’s many degrees below zero, boots squeak on snow. Breath hangs in the air like little clouds. Noses turn red, frost clings to lashes. A windless frozen day, tree branches stiff and dangerous as swords.
Feet tramp down the crispy trail, toes stinging with chill. Alone in the cold. This sensation links us to nature, makes us feel our fragility. If no warm fire awaited at the end of the trail, our blood would turn to ice; we’d perish. Most days we don’t feel our humanity; we don’t remember how dependent we are on something as basic as fire.
Cold draws out our primitive nature. It bites and stings. But it also invigorates. A brisk walk on an icy day can be just what the doctor ordered. As a child, our son Carson had croup many times. In the middle of the night we’d awake to the sound of his gasps for air. We’d bundle him into a snow suit and carry him outside. While the rest of the street slept, we took turns pacing; back and forth; our steps squeaked on the front porch. With each step Carson’s breaths came easier.
I find prayer comes easy when accompanied by the sound of my boots squeaking on snow-covered ground. The cold snaps me back to reality; makes me thankful for simple things like warmth.
A winter walk can be just what’s needed when worry overwhelms us. The squeak of our boots draw us closer to God.