It's been an odd, snowless winter for the most part here so far, and while this might make some people happy, it has not been sitting well with me. (I'll always be a great-white-northern girl at heart.) In my mind, the short, dark days of winter need the brightness and the peacefulness of swirling, crystalline flakes. Those beautiful, delicate works of art make it possible for all of us to breathe, to feel joy, to have faith, to hope.
These winter months in our part of the world are hard on humans, I think; it seems at times that the bleakness of the season tries to smother us all in its unrelenting grip. All around me right now are sad stories; my mom has spent the past week ill in the hospital (and I've felt so worried and frustrated not being near enough to keep her company), and one of Noah's best friends is staying at our house today while his dad, who has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour, goes for more medical tests. A mom I know of is clinging to every last shred of hope while her sweet little five year old girl, who is hooked up to more machines and tubes than a child her age should ever have to know, clings desperately to life. Sometimes we need every little bit of help we can find to make it through this season.
Last night after dinner, Will and I bundled ourselves up and headed outside to shovel and play in the freshly fallen snow. My mood was low when I first stepped outdoors, but as I breathed in the chilly evening air and felt the fluffy flakes brush delicately against my face, I relaxed and felt my spirits begin to lift. Will and I made snow angels, jumped in snow piles and chased each other around the snowy yard until we both fell, laughing and exhausted, onto our backs on the soft white blanket. We stayed there for quite some time, quietly looking up at an inky winter night sky, watching shadowy clouds blow peacefully across the horizon and marvelling at the twinkling of stars we hadn't taken time to notice in awhile.
When we came back inside, rosy-cheeked and alive, I felt grateful for the new perspective the snowy night had given me. Watching those beautiful, bright flakes transform the dark landscape made me believe that no matter what happens, maybe everything will be alright.
When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.
Friday, January 20, 2012
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