Gifts of Winter: Moments of Quiet and Space to Breathe

This morning, I awoke to an inch or so of snow on the ground over ice.

Since I still live with my parents–hopefully only for a little bit longer–my mother was in fine panic form, worrying about Dad and me getting safely to work.  I didn’t care, one way or another.  If I couldn’t get to work, I figured my boss could just deal with it and I would pile up in my bed with some books.

While I was getting ready for my day at work, Dad went ahead and tried to get to his job and succeeded, driving his 4-wheel drive company truck.  After Dad arrived at his workplace, he called to say that the roads were, indeed, largely ice and that he would come pick me up and bring me to work.

He took longer to get to the house than I anticipated, and I’d put all my winter garb on too early.  I was roasting inside the house, and, honestly, growing more than a little tired of listening to my Mom’s worrying.

I walked outside onto the porch and stood.  It was so beautiful and quiet.  There weren’t any cars moving in the neighborhood, no one out making noise.  There were few vehicles on the state highway across the creek, and when one did pass, it made a quiet “whoosh.”   It was the first quiet, peaceful moment I’d had all morning.  In all my winter weather-appropriate layers, I wasn’t cold, not even my face was cold, though the thermometer on the porch read 11°F.

Truthfully, I like the hush that falls over everything when we’re blanketed in snow and ice.  It quells some of the artificial busyness and unnecessary shopping.  You have to slow to down, or else you risk life and limb.  Sometimes you have to look in your refrigerator and pantry and get creative with what you have.

Then, of course, there’s the giddy child inside me that really just wants to run around in the snow, putting her footprints in it and making snowballs and snow angels.   I had to fight that urge this morning.  It wasn’t long afterward that my ride arrived, and going to the office soggy isn’t exactly proper.

Why do so many adults fear and loathe snow, when, as children, most of us lived for it?

Nevermind.  I know the answers.

Winter storms can do damage, can cut people’s electricity and sources of heat and food and water.  That happened right before Christmas in my area.  But every snowfall does not wreak such havoc, and, therefore, every snowfall or bit of ice on the road is not reason for fear, panic, and loathing.   Some people have medical conditions exacerbated by cold, but not the majority of the populace.  Mostly, I think the reason the majority of adults, at least in my experience, hate weather like we’re having today is that it sometimes keeps us from the things we think we need to do, like going to the office or going to shop, or otherwise running here, there, and everywhere in a rushed frenzy.  Our bodies, even, do not want to move as fast or spend as much time engaged in such activity.   We’re forced to take a step back from the “Do, do, do!…More!…Better!…Faster!” that drives our modern lives, and that makes a lot of us uncomfortable.

The office has been mostly quiet this morning.  I’m the only one here.  My boss was out of town yesterday, and I finished the work that was left for me.  I like it when it’s like this.

I have space to breathe.

Thank you, Lady Winter!

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