Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mindfulness: Walking in the Snow

Winter this year has brought with it such ample snow to the Pacific Northwest that there have been many opportunities to contemplate its beauty, and how it reminds us to be mindful. It might inconvenience everyday comings and goings, but it has always struck me that it has the ability to create a blanket of light, peace, and tranquility wherever it settles. Being a mother of two small boys, my life is often filled with light, but it can come up short on peace and tranquility!

This afternoon, I found myself with a lapful of two little boys, each wanting hugs and help with their drawing, taping, and cutting of paper. They had come into my home office while I had sat at my computer, gathering my thoughts to write. My moment of creativity ended the instant theirs began, so I focused on helping them settle into a new activity of their choosing. And by being there right then at that moment, I could see my littlest one draw circles with his left hand - both of these skills were a surprise to me.

Later, I decided to get out and walk into town so that I could soak up a bit more of this snowy day before it melts away and becomes dark. Living in a small town that neither spreads salt, gravel, nor sand, I remembered again how snow teaches us to be mindful. Where sidewalks were still covered in freshly fallen snow, I could confidently crunch along with my boots; where slush had formed, I began taking baby steps to avoid slipping; where they were clear, I took longer strides. I listened to the sounds I made, observed the textures and changing light along the sidewalks and roads.

Mindfulness allows us to respond to and remain in the moment, and often, to recognize the beauty in it. We know that there is a time and place for everything. There are times to be creative, times to help others create, times to take big strides, and times to take smaller ones. Soon the snow will melt away and reveal the gifts the ground will offer; in the meantime, let's enjoy this!

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