I enjoy this kind of morning.
I was softly awakened by the sound of cars driving down a wet street….. looking through my own half asleep blurry eyed vision I see the softness of snow as it falls to this place we call earth. It was not an unexpected arrival, although it was 60 the other day. But to me it was like the arrival of an old friend who will be absent in the near future. I love the sounds and sights of seasons…. especially the darkness of the winter or a rain. To me they come as a blanket for my inner being. A moment of time that my mind expands in creative ways while my body coils up in a search for warmth.
It is the coming and going of the seasons that tells us so much about what we have and want to look forward to in life. Some of my friends decry these kinds of days…. where is the heat of a summer’s day they grumble. They want to feel the warmth of the sun on their skins. Those warm summer nights that bring to my community sounds of people enjoying the presences of others and food while being on their porches, decks or patios. The warm seasons give birth to the sound of children playing at the park….. birthday parties enjoyed outdoors…. the warming seasons carrying along with it the sounds of shoes on the cinder trails of my loved Wash Park….. the air is filled with the laughter and the encouragement of young adults playing in the center park that is engorged with rows of volleyball nets….. the barking of dogs as they encounter new four-legged friends and foes.
It is with the tidal shift of the seasons that we find another reason to look ahead. But today….. it is snowing. I live in a place that is known for having over 300 days of sunshine. We are known for our outdoor events….. musical, arts, balloon rides, sports, camping, hiking and so on. But today is a reminder that we do have a season that is meant for bundling up whether you are going to the slopes or staying inside. I have other friends that look forward to this season as well. However, soon, they will lament over the closure of a ski slope. They will pack away their skis and boards…. and start to count down to the opening of A-Basin.
It is the same with our own lives. We have seasons of change. Moments of time that causes us to act and other times to reflect. Both are needed and necessary. Just as we have day time we have a night-time and both must be lived in. We just are not sure what to do with the dark moments. We want to them to end and we fight against the natural events of life. It may be an illness. It may be the loss of a relationship. It may come at the loss of our identity because we have lost people, things and resources that we used as definitions of who we are. It is not that they really did define us but were more of a reflection. A reflection of who we either wanted to be or who we felt like we needed to be. Moments like these become like the tides of the ocean. They come in and wash over the sands of our thoughts….. the granular ideas that will be sifted… notions and dreams that will flow in and flow out….. These same tides also come in to wash against the rock of our values…..
Tides are measured out and predictable…. so are some of the events in our lives. The tides are predictable because we know that with the fluidity of life we will always have periods of cleansing….. times of building and rebuilding…. moments when we will watch from the safety of a shoreline distance or safely clinging to the top of a huge rock. A firm foundation of who we are and what we are beginning to believe. And it is during these times of darkness that we find the validity and the worthiness of our values because they gave us shelter.
What do we do with these moments of change and challenges? Do we fight against the normal tides of life? Do we build barriers in an expectation that the sand castles, that we built not on the stability of values but on a playground filled with loose ideas and false premises, will not be washed away?
Tides are a product of nature….. so are moments of time.
It is still snowing….. a day that is filled with a reminder of a season that is soon to end but a present moment gift of things still to come.
I can look at this moment and reflect on the past…. prepare for the tomorrow….. or embrace the changing tides of life. Not to hold it back at an arm’s length but to embrace it with a present moment acceptance and commitment. Allowing the thoughts… the emotions… the vision and the fears to move through this day….. not accepting the belief that I can’t but that I will. An acceptance of who I am in spite of the context of the space and time. Not to allow the voice of criticism to deny me who I am but to reveal to me what I am needing to work on. To be mindful of each word spoken…. of each step taken…. to be mindful to consume only what I need not just what I want…. to speak with a heart that reflects the value of who I am and the one that I am with…. There is no greater time than the one that I have at this very moment. Accept that within my own earthy being that the seeds of negativity are joint partners with the seed of hope. To make a commitment to learn that my own negativity is merely a sign of where I need to grow…..
My environment does not define me but it is here to challenge me.
Let it snow….. and know that it is preparing us for the warmth and heat of the new seasonal change.