Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Evil Ice?

The morning light revealed an unusual world today. It is a world sealed by a thin layer of ice. It seems that the conditions were right last night for freezing rain, which differs significantly from snow.

New-fallen snow gives all things a look of being fresh. Ice does not camoflage as well. Instead, it transforms that which it covers, with no attempt to hide it. Such transformations can be beautiful, as in the tiny limbs of trees taking on added thickness and weight, causing them to form new patterns against the gray sky.

The transformation is sometimes subtle, and it is in these minimal distortions that the additional potential of this natural phenemon is revealed. The potential to function as the hidden trickster.

Snow announces her appearance boldly; ice collects in low spots and waits hidden for unsuspecting travelers to tread on her illusionary solidity. She can be a deadly adversary.

As with all tricksters, the way to avoid their game is to begin by recognizing that they are responding to their nature. There is no malicious intent. No inherent evil. No seeking of revenge. Simply a new manifestation, in this case, a new formation of water, that essential life-giving element. She remains worthy of our respect. In this form, she calls for us to focus on her; to not take her gift for granted. If we honor her with our attention, the ice becomes simply another wonder, not an adversary. And, as with all wondrous things, we approach her with a mix of awe and caution.

Declaring anything evil may be an easy way for our limited minds to categorize things. But often, I think it may rob us of an awareness of many facets of reality. Possibly, evil is nothing more than twisted good. To understand it, and respect it without being consumed by it, is to seek the good at its root.


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