Twelve days until spring, at least that's what the calendar is showing. Spring might be a little slower arriving on the swake if we keep getting six inches of snow overnight. There are days when I wonder if spring will ever come as I imagine an endless winter. Those thoughts happen at the end of the day when I am weary or at night when I watch chicken feather sized snowflakes drifting from the sky. In those moments it is hard to remember that the world will look and feel differently once I have rested and the sun rises over the treetops.
Last Saturday evening I was marooned on that sad thought island, picturing the winter of 2012-13 as the winter that kicked off another ice age in Alberta. Heavy snowfall warnings and road closures littered the news so we hunkered down in the peaceful snugness of our home on the swake. Sunday morning we rose in the dark. The snow had stopped and the sky was clear when we went out to get Kanti from her kennel with a million stars lighting our way. We knew that once the sun appeared we were going to be in for a spectacular view of God's handiwork over night so we fired up the coffee pot, and took up strategic positions in our comfy chairs to watch the sun dawn over the swake.
We were not disappointed. Dawn appeared reluctantly at least that's how I felt, probably because I was watching it unfold. The sky was completely cloudless and the world sparkled, trees bent beneath the burden of looking beautiful. Greg, Big Red, and Kanti raced up and down the driveway clearing a path so we could go to church. I was a bit conflicted. Should I go to church and possibly miss picture taking opportunities, or stay home? Church won and I crossed all my fingers and toes that when we got home there would still be some of that fabulous snow on the trees to capture in photos.
For two of the members of our household, Sunday afternoon is a precious slice of time for naps and watching golf on TV. The proof is in the photo. Observe how Kanti's paw reaches across her master's lap. No way, no how, is he going to even shift position without her knowing! I am not a napper, so this was the perfect opportunity to sneak outside and take photos without Kanti trying to help me.
Here you can see for yourselves the beauty that the storm left in its wake. In the light of day, with huge blobs of snow dropping onto my head from the trees above, I was glad for the storm. Rested and renewed, I stopped fretting about winter not ending soon enough and took a little jaunt up and down the driveway snapping photos as I went, marvelling at the way the snow balanced precariously in a peak upon a pinecone. Turning my thoughts to the here and now and finding joy in the aftermath of the storm. Isn't that what life's all about anyway, finding a way to recalibrate those thoughts that steal your ability to be fully present?
When I was little I just wanted to be grown up. When I was 10 I wanted to be 12. When I was single I wanted to be married. When I didn't have kids I wanted to have kids. Always reaching for the next thing, constantly restless and unable to rest in the present. Then one day I was grown up, and I was long past 12 and it occurred to me that I needed to take more time to walk up and down the driveway of life and savour the moments that I was in. Developing that ability to savour the current state involves an almost constant recalibration of my thoughts and energy. It runs counter to how I am hard wired and I believe it is counter to our North American culture. It requires that we be deliberate, that we engage in a conscious slowing down and that we exercise a willingness to not just see life through a passing window but to walk gently in the days of of our life. May you walk gently through your day!