I saw the first snow falling this afternoon. It reminds me a new season will come soon. Not my favourite, but Mother Nature didn't ask, so I won't bother her. I have had my crock pot out, bread baking weekly, swapped heavy blankets in for light ones, outfitted the girls in winter gear and put a tarp over the wood pile. Now that all of the list items have been checked off, I begin to settle in to the dark months. The new season will settle in and do to me what she always does. I resist, at first.
The season is cold, the wind bites, my toes get clammy without socks on. I live in a day planner upon whose pages I list our dinner plans, appointments, activities, and reminders. As if writing them down and checking them off means I'm doing alright. I make sure all mittens have been accounted for, that tickets for holiday recitals are purchased well in advance for our large family, the broken weather stripping is replaced on the back door before snow and most seep in the crack. All of these things amount to organization, and by a certain extension, peace. But the kind of peace that can be organized and bought is not what the cold months ask me to cultivate.
I stand at the front window and watch snowflakes fall, dizzyingly fast under the streetlights, chaotically whipping in the wind. I take a break from planning the kind of weather gear we'll need in the morning, and what we'll eat for breakfast. Step one, I remember, is to be still. Make room. I have cleaned and repaired and been busy preparing, but now the real work begins.
Be still. Find where the heart is. Listen and feel. Stay there when my mind wanders and the fidgets creep in. Resolutely ignore the distractions, reminding myself if they are of any importance, they will make themselves known another time. Work myself into the stillness and wait what the cold days bring. Sometimes it is reflection, sometimes it is re-aligning priorities with clarity, sometimes it is resolving to take better care, sometimes it is evolving into someone who lets herself feel things gutturally. A mystery, each season, each cycle through.
|Skylar already knows, Zen master that she is|