Christmas Day, finally the frenzy of commercialism is behind us. The stores are all closed and most of the people are gone, gone to where ever they all go for the holidays. Christmas Day is one of my favorite days of the year for the solitude in the mountains and woods. God seems far away from me this year as we celebrate His arrival as a human on this earth but as I walk the woods in His magnificent creation perhaps I can bring myself closer, only if it is just a little bit.
I can tell that even the creatures that inhabit the woods are appreciative of this day. There is little traffic and there is a silence that isn’t experienced often anywhere in Colorado. I always enjoy taking pictures of the deer on Christmas Day. With all the people gone there are no dogs running loose to wreak havoc on the peace of the day or screaming kids to pierce the silence. The animals all seem calmer and less likely to bolt and they seem to be aware of the special peace that only Christmas Day can bring. The deer look at me almost as if they are curious about why I am the only one out on this day. It is almost like they know I am one of them, that I belong.
Later today it will be even better when the snow begins to fall. It doesn’t get any better than a snowstorm on Christmas. The particular herd of deer that I like to photograph lets me come closer in the deep snow. One time I rounded a thick stand of scrub oak in heavy snow and found myself in the midst of the herd. They looked a little surprised but had a look of “oh, it’s just you”, and went on about their business of eating leaves and searching for the forest grass beneath the deep snow. I’m sure I could have reached out and touched them if I had wanted to but I didn’t want to disturb them so I just snapped a couple of shots and kept on going.
Only the sound of my snowshoes in the deep snow… shoosh, shoosh, shoosh. Alone in the snow walking with Him. To me this is how to celebrate Christmas, the true meaning of the day experienced alone in silence, surrounded by His Creation.