Friday, January 7, 2011

Snowflakes and Seconds

The last two days, the forecasters have promised me snow. I awoke with a start at 4:13 am this morning and peered through the blinds, anticipating my beloved snow.

No snow. Luckily, I entered sleep-land again, despite my nagging disappointment.

But when Abby came in at 7 am, asking if there'd be school, I quickly scanned outside. White. Everywhere. Ahhhh. The snow came, as promised. I exhaled deeply.

Now, the snow falls, falls, falls, steadily and patiently. Snow alters me on a cellular level...a panacea of sorts. It simultaneously calms while invigorating and awakening some part of my soul, lying dormant, heralding the arrival of the blankets of fluffy white. I love the way the air smells when it snows. I love the trappings of snow...fires, fleeces, red-cheeked faces. There's hope in that snow. A promise of sorts.

The graceful flakes hypnotize as they descend to my world. The gradual layering of achingly beautiful to me. I imagine the slumbering earth below. It seems as if Mother Earth pulls up her blanket of snow over her layers of mulched leaves and acorns, burrowing in for her winter slumber.

Tall, bare trees reach starkly, boldly into the low winter sky; their roots holding steadfastly to her frozen bed. I see the trees as the Earth's sentries. Guarding the hibernating land through the harsh, pounding winter, then, months later, gently alerting everyone of spring's imminent arrival.

The trees, they never cease to inspire wonder and awe in me. So stoic. So tall. So graceful. Today, laced in muted whites.

I stand outside, and look up at the sky and allow the snow to fall on my face, my hair. I feel small--wonderfully small, aware of my microscopic place in this life. Yet full of appreciation for the opportunity to fulfill it. My own little perch--a place to observe, learn, retreat and replenish.


The last several days, I purposefully observed my interactions with my children. I took more deep breaths. I found little gems hiding beneath snarky comments and tired eyes. I sense a softening in me; a welcome shift, for sure. I feel more tender, more open to the experiences as they present. And I suspect that my appreciation--amidst another tantrum, another pair of urine soaked pants, a barley squelched dramatic interlude--starts with the rekindled awareness that these moments are finite. As my friend Lindsey beautifully writes, these moments show "tangible evidence of the wheeling forward of time, inescapable proof that our moments on this planet are numbered. On the whole time’s movement seems an odd combination of quixotic and inexorable, some moments stretching endlessly and others passing with blinding speed."

Blinding speed. Blinking and years are spent. Yes. But in this quiet moment, fueled by the snowy tundra outside my window and the (thankfully) happy chatter of my children, time slows. The ethereal grace of this moment prevails. The seconds fall softly and slowly. Like snow flakes. I sit, satiated by the prevailing tenacity of our connectedness. Warmth from the fire. Abby, Henry and me. Together. Enjoying the endless stretch of this moment.


Lindsey said...

How incredibly lovely ... that internal softening you are observing sounds like grace to me, friend. xox

DebraP said...

A beautiful post. Thank you. I agree, these moments - especially the ones with our children - are fleeting. I appreciate the reminder!

Heather of the EO said...

Yeah, what Lindsey said...grace.

This is beautiful, lady. And I sure needed this perspective on snow, since it's burying me in Minnesota :)

Anonymous said...

I am a huge lover of snow...and nothing soothes my soul better than a sparkly winter's night. I guess that's a good thing for a Canadian. I have fond memories of going for long walks with my husband, trudging along in our boots, snow falling on our noses, talking for long periods of time about nothing and everything. In fact, I think you've just inspired my next post.

Thank you!