This morning, I’ve been looking out the window at the 10 inches of snow that fell on Christmas. It is beautiful. The branches on my elm tree are sparkling in the sunlight. The streets are quiet because we have no snowplows in the south so most people are staying home. I feel relaxed because I don’t have to hurry to get ready and get out the door to get to the office by a certain time. In fact, I feel like I’m able to move at my own pace instead of at the pace of someone else’s expectations.
Is that it? Is it that the snow frees us from the usual expectations, takes away the pressure of rushing around to accomplish the too many tasks of our over-scheduled lives, and allows us to move at the pace we determine is correct to meet our immediate needs?
Is it the quiet that comes from the soft snow cushion that muffles sound, plus less traffic noise, and no airplanes passing overhead? Is it the beauty of the snow’s changing reflection of light that keeps pulling us into the moment?
All of these questions have run through my head as I’ve relished the quiet peacefulness of the day, lingered over coffee, left the TV off, and wiggled contentedly under the blanket covering my legs. I feel less pressured, more peaceful, and more connected to the being of life rather than the activities of life. I am able to continually watch the light changing on the snow and stay right here in the moment.
It is as if the veil that clouds life’s possibilities has been lifted and I am free to explore what I want right this minute. I don’t have to try to get around to seeing my options once I’ve met everyone else’s deadlines (a time I know will not come before I’m too exhausted to care). I can stay in, or bundle up and go out. I can shovel my walk, or see how many funny looking footprints I can make. I can cook brownies and then cake and then the bread that has been rising to the warmth of the oven vent. There’s plenty of time for the bread to rise twice without me having to plan ahead. I can put on make-up or I can skip a shower. I can read a book, organize photos, meditate, do yoga, or just sit quietly and be with myself.
This is the kind of day I want to have every day – the kind in which I’m present in the moment, open to the possibilities, and deliberate in the activities I choose. For me, such a day always begins with stillness and quiet. That’s the very best thing about a White Christmas – beauty that keeps me focused in the moment, and the blank slate created by a blanket of stillness and quiet. It is from this place that all good things begin.