Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

October 8, 2019. Noon. Snowing.

I had to look twice to make sure; OK, three times. It was snowing. The wind had been blowing since yesterday when it was 18 degrees Celsius in late afternoon. All degrees but four got scattered by bedtime. We lost two more overnight.

Today at noon we got snowflakes. A first this time of the year by everyone’s account. Dog and I took a walk in that swirling mad snowflake dance and I realized this sad fact: first snow always had my heart flutter with joy. Always. Today, this year, the flutter is missing and instead I feel sad and worried. The world is changing and I do not care about making yet another point about climate change (yes, it is real, and yes, I am shaking my head knowing it is still debated; seriously!). But.

The world as I know it and hope it for my boys and all of today’s and tomorrow’s children, is transforming and the process is not subtle. I watch the snowflakes dance around and settling on my pup’s back; powerlessness is a lowsy feeling. The world is changing and there is nothing I can do to stop it. God knows I’ve been at it for a long time. The green stuff, you know, talking and doing.

But today… snowflakes 1, me 0. It’s not a fight, and really, snowflakes and I, and you too, we are made from the same stuff circulating in the big world; life as a circle. We are part of the same big one. How magnificently harmonious we have all been for thousands of years! Now, not so much.

The rhythms of nature, the passing of the seasons, we used to read signs and our readings, accurate enough, translated into safety. We read the future in clouds, late-blooming flowers, in how the way birds preened their feathers and critters, wild and domesticated, carried themselves around. We built shelters and secured crops based on that, knowing that our next leg of life depended it. Nature had its big book open, allowing us to peek ahead. In the last hundred years or so we took to ripping pages and scribbling on the ones left; now we cannot find where the secrets lie to know what’s ahead.

Today it snows. I walk the same path I did yesterday and the memory of my steps from yesterday is still embedded in it. Yesterday it was sunny and my feet got too hot in my boots and the dog was panting.

Not knowing what’s ahead is unsettling. And yet I do not want that fear. I do not want to make space for it in our lives because it affects the way I think of our garden and it stops me from celebrating the boys’ finding their path in life when the time comes, because I’d think the future is a sky already darkened. It is not; it cannot be. So on days like today I let fear be for a bit, then I kick it to the curb.

I am worried, yes, rightfully so, but I let go of that too. The hodgepodge of seasons and weather patterns cannot be untangled and put back together the right way by my worry alone; or yours. What then. Promises… to live as if something could change if I do; as if my boys’ future came with the same guarantees mine did; as if I can still in nature’s book through the many poppies still in bloom in our garden. As if the sky and the days ahead will behave, unlike today.

That keeps worry and fear at bay. It helps me brush snowflakes off the pup’s back and pull my sleeves over my hands to keep them warm. I go and pick the rest of the tomatoes from the garden; a whole basket of them. Plus the rest of the newly bloomed Calendula.

The poppies will stay put, because their red cheekiness will not give in to the chilly wind and snowflakes. Plus, they’ll be back next year. They’re stubborn that way.


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  1. Lynn

    Lovely writing and beautiful pictures you have such a gift for both

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