Why is it that we complain about the cold during the winter months wishing for warmth, and during the summer months complain about the heat and hope for cooler days? Why are we never satisfied to live in the moment, to be grateful for the Right Now, to appreciate, treasure and enjoy the chance to live in different seasons.
It snowed again yesterday morning. Big fluffy snowflakes. They covered our walk way and the front yard, the drive way and the back yard, the bushes and the trees, our stoop and the mailbox. I got excited. I texted my husband. I decided that I would not take the car out for errands or grocery shopping. That I would stay cozy inside, warm and content, snug and comfortable. I decided to bake muffins. Banana and chocolate chip. Thibault helped me. He poured in the sugar and got out his hammer to help make the chocolate chips from a bar of bittersweet baking chocolate. A perfect ‘snow day’ so to speak. (This morning too there is a freshly produced fluffy blanket of soft white snow covering our front lawn, and our street, and the field further beyond…)
For some people, winter has been long. It has been very cold, too cold? There has been lots of snow, too much snow? The days have been gray, the sky overcast, the air crisp, the ground muddy, the roads slippery. I have enjoyed every minute. After having lived in the southern hemisphere for three years, where it is mostly one season all year long, I appreciate having a new season to deal with; a change. Wearing socks and sweaters, scarves and coats. Having rosy cheeks. Smelling the cold in the air. The feeling of warmth when entering the house after having been out. I am happy to get reacquainted with this colder season! I feel lucky that on our first winter back in the northern hemisphere we get to experience a winter that actually feels like a winter.
I know that I am not of a common opinion. That people are busy, have things to do, places to go, deadlines to meet. And that the snow hinders their progress, thwarts their achievements, interrupts their routine, restrains their ambitions and suppresses their vitality. For you I am sorry the winter has been so laborious and unpleasant, so aggressive, so persistent, so wearing.
Since my first son’s birth, I have been a stay-at-home mother, now of two boys and I love the opportunity, the chance, the freedom of this choice. I am able to take my time. I am able to live mostly stress-free, to not rush, to be tranquil, zen, happy. To put off until tomorrow what I can’t get done today. I am able to take advantage of my boys young ages, their new discoveries, the good days and the bad days, and the seasonal weather. I am what I always wanted to be, doing what I always wanted to do. I am elated, ecstatic, blessed and blissful.
It is for this reason, this calmness and slowness, this being ‘in the moment now’, that I am able to be grateful for the snow. To see its beauty, and enjoy it’s qualities. It is cold, it is slippery, but I have time and I know I will be able to enjoy spring and summer evermore for their opposing characteristics. To not take for granted the sun, the warmth, the blossoms, the birds… the longer days, the changes. We need some bad to know good, we need death to appreciate life, we need cold to basque in warmth, we need the old to enjoy what is brand-new, we need some despair to nurture hope, we need change to renew. This year when spring and summer come, they will be unusual and original, unfamiliar and almost strange (as is this first winter for us!). And I will get the chance to re-establish my relationship with these seasons. and appreciate them, again; like seeing an old friend again after a long absence…