As a child, falling snowflakes and snow-covered landscapes meant a break from the routine, a chance to play in a different way, no cars rushing by, no one in a hurry to get anywhere, a chance to sip cocoa and enjoy meals together as a family because no matter who you were surrounded by they became family in a snow storm.
At some point we “grow up”. Snow becomes a nuisance, a hindrance from work, a blockade to accomplishing life. The critical plans for what we believe is the great work of our life come to a screeching halt and everything is all messed up, or so it seems at the time.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to life at the beach – to live someplace warm, where folks saunter around in flip flops or squish their toes in the sand as they stroll the beaches in quiet reflection, where the pace of life is slower, where by nature time pauses so that you can notice simple surroundings, breathe a little deeper, and reflect more on thoughts and actions.
Life seems so much more in the moment at the beach and maybe that is why I am drawn to it — sparkling water lapping up on the shore, warm sand reminding me to press down through the souls of my feet and feel the earth. Life seems to slow down to a gelatinous bubbling, like the colors floating in a lava lamp.
Oh, how different life at the beach is compared to the hustle and bustle of a big city — that is, until a big snow storm hits. When the snow comes, it is as if Mother Nature is saying, “Come on folks, slow it down!” Have you ever noticed how blankets of snow on hillsides are remarkably similar looking to dunes of sand? The sensation of snow crunching under the boots creates that earthly connection with your feet. Feel the snowflakes splash on your cheeks, like the surf curling up on your toes.
There is rarely a more peaceful and beautiful time than when snow is softly falling. Everything slows down. Branches stand in stillness as snow gathers at their edges. Animals tuck into nooks in tree bases, napping all snuggled together. Snow brings quiet reflection, contemplative movement, an invitation from Mother Nature to slow down, notice simple surroundings, breathe a little deeper, and reflect more on thoughts and actions.
So, the next time the snow begins to fall and seems to be getting in the way of the greatness you had planned for your day, perhaps it is simply an invitation to pause, go inside instead of outside, and allow a new greatness, perhaps your true greatness, to surface from within.
So whether it’s snow in your boots or sand in your toes, slowing down to notice it may bring the perfect opportunity to experience life a little more fully.
Got my toes in the snow
Hot cocoa tucked in my hand
Mother Nature says “slow down”
Pretend the snow is like sand.
Take a moment…just relax…and get real.
December 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm
I have no excuse for not slowing down. At my age, even my body offers encouragement to do so by the occasional stiffness or ache. And, living at the beach (the most beautiful one they say) should seal the deal. But slowing down is being able to control that internal throttle that makes my engine race. As my dear friend Deb said yesterday, “I live my life like a project list and I want to stop.” Me too, dearest Deb.
December 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm
What a wonderful writer you are!