I thought about fresh starts after we received our first snowfall today. A white blanket of snow, untouched by the human hand, signals a new beginning. How perfect on this January day in the New Year of 2015. Twenty fifteen! That has a nice ring to it! It is time to start planting seeds for greater outcomes.
Just looking at the new layer of snow, allows us to breathe easier and say, ‘Old Man Winter has arrived at last.’ We have a love-hate relationship with him and when he finally does show up, we are like a concerned spouse asking, “Where have you been? I knew you would be here sooner or later.” And once he is here and the snow has fallen, we go outside at some point and get busy. Snow will not be ignored.
We have to interact with it in some way. We may have to dig out so our front doors will open; or clean off our cars or shovel our driveways and sidewalks. Some type of activity will be required with that first fresh covering of snow. We can flex our muscles while engaged and that is a good thing in itself.
Children build snowmen or make snow angels and adults may decide to take a walk in the winter wonderland. For those of us who have seen many snowfalls, each one still brings its own unique beauty and sense of awe.
This morning, it was refreshing to be outdoors as the flakes blew around lightly. The feeling of newness prevailed as I cleaned off my car. I thought of its dual benefits. I was getting my daily workout and I received a free car wash. A lot of the old debris was washed away with this wet, heavy snow.
We rediscover what has been hidden as we clean off our cars or shovel our sidewalks and driveways. It is like some aspect of life when we uncover something that has been kept hidden from view. After the clearing, we can see what is underneath and get back on the path which propels us to move forward.
At the beginning of the year, many people make resolutions and vow what they will or will no longer do. Some people write them; some simply state them and some just make mental notes. But, everyone is looking for some improvement in their lives. Now is the time to put those new strategies for better results into action. The snow’s arrival lets us know that the earth is doing its job; so we must do ours. January is the perfect time to become as busy as a beaver!
I have lived or visited places that had no snow in the winter. At first, it seemed like an ideal setting as I wore spring or even summer wear in the winter. But for this Midwesterner, there was this gut-level feeling that something was missing. Where was that fourth season? It was comparable to that family member that is no longer at the dinner table. Things felt out of balance.
So, though we begrudge Old Man Winter, we welcome him when he comes. We know that things are indeed in balance. We can lean on a line from Desiderata (Max Erhmann) which says, “no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
We can step out into the clean, crisp January air and let the snowflakes hit our faces and inhale the freshness of the wintry season and the New Year!
Lynn January 4, 2015