by Barbara Cunningham

Long ago in the days of the samurai, those Japanese warriors would be sent into the woods to listen to the sound of the falling snow. Most of us lucky enough to live in the Catskills can understand the wisdom behind this. The recent weeks of heavy snow have given us the chance to sit quietly for a few minutes and watch the snowflakes softly cover the ground with sparkling diamonds. Or perhaps we take a short walk in the woods, like the samurai, and really listen until we too hear the whisper of the dancing flakes.

For the past few months, being housebound, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate the beauty of the snow. Some people consider it an “enemy”, a nuisance demanding backbreaking work and sometimes imprisoning them at home for days. For me, the snow is a blessing, teaching me a lesson I would not otherwise have learned. It has made me realize what makes Andes so unique. The feature article in the January 3rd issue of the New York Times states, “Andes is still more about land than people.” Wrong! Its people are precisely what makes me love this “Land In The Sky”. These people are truly unique, because they CARE about one another, they work together, they celebrate, they mourn, they plan, they pray together, they share and they look out for one another. “We have all worked together,” said Rosalie Glauser in the above mentioned article. “It is what makes us different from the other villages in Delaware County”.

Having to undergo a series of operations, both past and in the future, I miss the company of friends and the excitement of the projects in which I’ve been involved. To my delight, my friends have kept in touch with me. For months I’ve received a steady stream of greeting cards, phone calls, promises of prayers, culinary treats and flowers personally delivered. Every time my husband leaves the house, he returns with the good wishes of everyone he’s met. I don’t feel isolated from so many friends, because they’ve all rallied around me, and kept me a part of their lives.

Reflecting upon the beauty and abundance of our winter snow, I’ve learned a lesson I’ll never forget – no man or woman is an island – in Andes. ~

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