Winter White, Christmas Lights
No cup of coffee today sitting on a table. The first snow of the season fell the day I was to leave for my retreat. (The storm changed some, but not all, of my plans.)
‘Tis the season, and this morning’s cup is about a couple of things that make it “Christmas”: Light. Winter white.
Everywhere, the lights shine in the darkness. People take tours to see them, news stories and photojournalists record the more spectacular displays of them. They annoy some, and bring smiles to the faces of many. Whether it’s a single strand as an accent on a table, a Christmas tree laden with garlands of them, or an entire landscape shimmering in the night, there is something to be said for the magic of the lights.
The sight of them twinkling in the night awakens the wonder of the child within, that part of us that still believes in the magic, the mystery, of this season. This is what it is truly about: hope, peace, the light in the darkness that never stops shining. For some of us, we are reminded that we are that Light, and that we must persist even in the face of deep darkness. What a beautiful sight it must be to our Creator to see our lights still twinkling in the velvety blackness.
Then there is the beauty of the first snow of the season. This feeling only happens with the first snow, and it soon can dissipate when the shoveling begins, but while that first snow is falling, or if you awaken to it because it fell during the night while you were sleeping, that same sense of magic and mystery is often evoked by the sight of the pristine whiteness blanketing everything.
I take a moment to really breathe it in because I know the next thing I’ll need to do is clear the driveway and the sidewalk. And there’s no snow blower here. It’s done the old-fashioned way, with a shovel. It’s a great workout, by the way, as long as you pace yourself and don’t overextend yourself.
I wait until after the snow plow has been down the street to do my shoveling, then I don’t have to clear the driveway entrance twice, which means I get to enjoy the beauty for a while. And I do reward myself with some warm tea or a cup of hot chocolate when I’m finished.
There is something contemplative in the slow, steady pace of a snow shoveling job. Since I was technically ‘on retreat’, I did everything with more consciousness than usual these past few days. I focused totally on the task at hand, and lived it as fully as I could. Though I was unable to journey out to the location I’d chosen, I did choose to journey in instead. I did derive some benefit from the exercise, and may do this more often just to build that awareness muscle that seems to have atrophied somewhat.
It is good to be writing again, but I do recognize even more acutely the need to stay more in touch with the other aspects of my life. Just like the rest of humanity, I suppose I am always seeking to find the balance point.
All original material posted to this site is (c) 2012, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.
Photo credits: Wikipedia