As a native New Englander, I know that snow is possible on any given day or night. The seasons do change if we are lucky, but there are some years when we only get two – winter and summer. This is why I invite you to pay attention to the gift of each day, every change in the temperature and landscape that creates the painting in which we exist.
I woke to the faintest flurries of snow this morning, witnessing the day break as the sky above turned from black to gray, thick with cloud cover and moisture in the air. The wind howled as the curtains whipped around through the open crack of the window and the temperature chilled to the bone. The thoughts of a steaming hot cup of tea, fluffy slippers and a heavy, fleece-lined sweater consumed my mind as my senses absorbed the smells, sights and sounds of this early snow.
Though it is autumn on the calendar, Mother Nature has snuck winter in through the back door like an uninvited guest, giving us a preview of what’s to come. For most, this evokes feelings of sadness and disappointment, many left with an ache in their hearts, longing for the dog days of summer. For me, it evokes feelings of excitement, peace and content.
I am that person who smiles broadly when the temperatures drop and the pumpkins are plucked from their patch. My heart skips a beat and I feel like a child awaiting Christmas, anxious for not for material gifts, yet the many, many gifts of the season. There is crisp, cold air and vibrantly colored trees that provide the perfect backdrop for any occasion. The vibrant stars that blanket the night. The collections of swirling leaves, hovering above the sidewalk and being whisked along by the gusts of chilled wind. The brilliance of sun on a fall day and the fullness of the moon that illuminates the night sky. And the scents of apple spice and butter pecan to fragrance one’s home while the sandals get packed away and the sweatshirts pulled out.
Time marches on and with it comes the stillness and purity of a first snow. The sound of branches snapping in the woods as deer make their way across the earth’s frozen terrain. The lone owl who bellows out and the wondrous critters who make their way across the grass now blanketed in white, seeking safety and warmth. Roaring fireplaces by which to sit and read with hot cocoa. Hats, scarves and mittens to keep one warm and the scents of balsam and cinnamon dancing in the air.
What an invitation to bring all of our senses to life – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste – if we allow ourselves to take that moment and step back in appreciation of the wonder and beauty that surrounds us. This is a time of transformation and we, like the seasons, evolve and change.
If we should be mindful of just one thing on this snowy fall day – or any day – we should be reminded that without winter, there would be no spring and without spring, there would be no summer. And if can learn to experience, explore and reflect upon the seasons of change within ourselves, we will be reminded that everything is temporary and even if the snow falls today, the flowers may bloom tomorrow.