Posted by: Dave Neads | November 20, 2011

Snow and Jellyfish

Have you ever seen green snow? Or red snow? How about yellow and orange snow? I’m not talking about algae, pollution, or some weird chemical spill, I’m talking about pristine, clear patches of frosty white snow draped on the ridge behind our home changing colour.

Just before sunset yesterday afternoon , I went for a short hike up the ridge to witness the transition from day to night. This is my favourite time to visit my perch where I can watch the clouds as they tumble across the Coast mountains over the Precipice and onto the plateau. I am never disappointed by the infinite variety of the things I see produced by the elements of light, cloud, wind and mountains.

But yesterday was far beyond the usual ; it set new limits on what the universe can do. When I first arrived, the sun was beginning to sink into a large bank of very black cloud suspended from one angular mountain peak to another. The contrast between the sun’s brilliant yellow ball and the cloud bridge’s absolute black was sharp as a razor. As the sun slowly sank toward the horizon, the thickness of the cloud formation was just enough to hide the sun completely, shielding it from view.

The moment the shining disc was completely behind the cloud, the mist filling the space under the black band began to pulse within gold, yellow and brilliant white flashes. It reminded me of one of those urban nightclubs where strobes flash off and on, but this was far more inventive, with the pulses moving quickly in waves, bouncing off the mountainsides and the bottom of the vee below; shimmering in intensity and duration as they reflected back to the blackness above.

It was like an alien jellyfish suspended in space, throbbing with life.

Then the bottom of the sun started to fall below the sharp black line on the underside of the bridge, sending rays down and out, just like a child’s cartoon drawing. I could feel the faint warmth as they hit my face and I had to avert my eyes as the ancient beacon became too bright to look at.

It was then that time slipped sideways. As my eyes wandered to the sheet of snow at my feet, I realized it had started to glitter. This was not the sparkling we have all seen when frost crystals on snow flash like diamonds when the sun or, even more beautifully, when the moonlight, strikes them on a frigid clear night. No, this time the scintillations were in colour, some twinkling green, others snapping on and off in deep red, still others winking in yellow and orange.

I was seeing the vibrations of life’s core. The pulsing jellyfish was reaching out to me and the snow around me, entering my consciousness as part of the energy ocean we live in. Surrounded by snow so alive that it danced with colour, I experienced a crack in time when clouds, mist, sun and snow became one in performance art so sublime, so ethereal I was transported to the heart of the cosmos.


  1. Thanks, Dave.

    Evocative imagery and perspective.

    I guess your blog security’s been upgraded as I had to sign in from scratch.

    With this early and persistent cold, you’re probably eating away at the woodpile, like we are.

  2. Dave,
    I love the idea that we live in an “energy ocean”. I really enjoyed this post and learned more each time I read it!

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