Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sparkling Calm

The snowfall here in Mount Pocono, and most of the Northeast, has been outstanding recently.

This past week, we had a "Hurricane Blizzard". This might be a new term, but it defines a blizzard with the swirling effects of a hurricane.

I was forced to stay in Manhattan for two nights because of business. Otherwise, I would have taken a five day weekend and worked from home. However, I was home in time for the worst of our storm, with about 18 inches of snow already in the driveway. Perhaps I was home in time for the best of it.

We decided to keep the drapes open on our second floor bedroom terrace, and we left the exterior lights on so that we could enjoy the show that nature offered us.

We woke Friday morning to find a 5 foot snow drift on that terrace, and we worried that it might collapse from the weight.

The snow continues here, as I write, and we expect more snow midweek.

I spoke with a gentleman in the elevator as I headed home Thursday about the upcoming snow. I told him about my days as a child, when I would awake to find that my Mom allowed me to sleep in and there would be a piece of white cardboard on my dresser with the words;


He simply replied "What a great Mom".

We all have wonderful memories of snow, and we continue to look forward to what it offers us.

The first slight snow that kisses our wind-reddened cheeks each winter carries the same message that frosts have conveyed since time. This message is dualistic in character.

On one hand, winter’s growing chill compels us to rest and restore ourselves indoors, to hibernate. On the other hand, snow, the most wondrous attribute of the winter season, beckons us outside to play and to reflect.

My Mom commented this week of "what fun we had" at her condominium complex, as people of all ages and backgrounds came outside for their great dig-out. Everyone was happy and eager to help another retrieve their modes of transportation from beneath the snow.

Upon indulging this natural impulse, we emerge from our homes into the quiet created by a mantle of snow that blankets the ground, and find a scene painted in broad strokes of crystalline whiteness, embellished with bright highlights of silver and blue.

The stillness envelopes us as the magical quality of the surreal landscape awakens profound feelings of peace within our souls. Mother Nature’s perfect artistry is seldom more evident than in the magnificently balanced structure of the lovely and delicate multi-faceted flakes that cascade from the heavens.

From my local office near our home, where my Mom lives, I looked out upon the expansive lawn, and imagined the snow to be as frozen waves in the ocean.

To walk through falling snow is to immerse one’s self in life’s never-ending rhythms. We understand and accept that the snow beneath our feet, while tangible and powerful, is only one aspect of a larger cycle of world-altering weather events. The fluffy snowflake that floats to earth and joins its siblings brings the transient joy of leisurely days off and smiling snowmen, yet will one day experience a transformation in purpose.

Walking through a fallen snow is not easy. It is almost as though Nature forces us to stop with every few steps and take notice.

Without hesitation, the days grow longer, the weather grows warmer, and each beautiful flake melts and becomes one with trickling, singing streams, and swiftly running rivers.

Whereas, at the start of its existence, the snow serves to drape the world in beauty, it ends its season on earth by nourishing the land.

There is a Zen proverb which states that no snowflake ever falls in the wrong spot.

Whether we celebrate the snow by tossing snowballs, or by losing ourselves in the meditative serenity of the silently drifting flakes, we should pause and take a moment to contemplate how much like the snow each of us is.

We are born pure, but later take on the footprints of those we encounter, and what we endure.

Akin to each snowflake, we are unique, and yet we function as part of a larger wholeness, forever in the right spot at the right time. And, like the snow itself, our lives and the roles we play are impermanent, yet imminently valuable.

It is not until the Springtime of our lives when we are renewed from trampled snow to the fresh waters which run through the rivers and streams, replenishing the earth and our lives.

With these roles upon our minds, and so much to do all of the time, it can be difficult to find time to simply breathe, think, and explore our own inner landscapes. It is still possible, however, to feed our souls and to briefly separate ourselves from life’s frenetic pace by taking a Snow Day.

Personal Snow Days are best taken when we feel as though we are running on empty with no chance of respite in sight or when we begin to resent the life you we loved.

Our Snow Day can go a long way toward dispelling built up stress, provided we allow ourselves full permission to indulge in nurturing activities. It is not a day to worry about what we’re missing or what is still lingering on our to-do list. Rather, it is a day to give ourselves a break from our responsibilities so we can return to them fully alert.

A return to simple times, similar to those of our childhood, in which we can re energize ourselves.

Once we have our Snow Day, we need to to commit to ignoring our chores, not calling our place of business, and doing only the activities we enjoy, and being with those we love.

Relax, take a nap in the afternoon, play with children, meditate, work in an indoor garden, work on a journal, read a novel, write a note to a loved one, or shop for Spring.

Take a long walk in the fading afternoon sunshine and then cook a special dinner.

Let the Snow Day be as languid and as lazy as needed. If necessary, prepare for the Snow Day now, by getting anything fun and necessary ahead of time and placing them in a big box labeled "Snow Day". Clean up ahead and pay the bills the day before the temptation to clean or work is not there.

Once Snow Day is over, hold on to its essence.

Take some of its peacefulness and keep it close to heart.

Although we are a society that values overtime and hard work, we deserve a snow day every now and then.

With love & light,


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