Friday, January 20, 2012

Preserving Beauty in Unexpected Surprises

Yesterday morning I awoke before the sun & after a quick shower quickly glanced out the stairwell window as I was heading downstairs to put on a pot of water & begin the much-desired coffee making process.

As I looked out the window though I noticed that the tire tracks in the driveway were gone; the branches that were shaken free from snow by the hands of Little Tomato were weighted again with white dust; the footprints of our winter nature walk around the circumference of our yard were covered & the tracks of our winter friends were fresh.

We are avid NPR/Michigan Public Radio patrons and I didn't remembering hearing anything of fresh snowfall so I ran downstairs to make sure my caffeine free mind wasn't playing tricks with my early morning blurred vision.

Downstairs though - snow covered the cars parked along the culdasac street; driveways & sidewalks were perfectly smooth with soft winter rain; trees were glistening in the pre-sunrise light from the East & again(!), fresh rabbit prints danced around our front yard. We had snow!

Little a child I ran upstairs and whispered in Jake's ears, "We got snow last night!"

As I continued throughout our morning routine I couldn't help but contain my excitement for this new blanket of beauty. I also couldn't help but think of this same event as if it were to happen one year ago.

One year ago, before going to bed the night previous we would have used the internet to pull up BBC, Weather.com & let's be honest - probably our e-mail and inevitable a social media site or some unread blogs. We would have gone to bed later than intended, planned for the snow, minds filled with media concerns & other distracting thoughts that would keep the mind moving at speeds that prevent needed rest & comfort.

Here we are though, seven months into our intentional separation from the internet in our home and there is a fresh covering of soft white winter snow that I didn't know was coming - what a surprise! - that I could receive with excitement & grace, not only because of it's unexpected nature but because we went the sleep the night before after a peaceful evening of hot tea, a winter root meal (found in this phenomenal cookbook), good books & conversation in hand.

Our days now have a more peaceful rhythm to them, not only full of more surprises but with more time to be, plan, rest and focus on what we often placed to the side as we checked the weather, responded to e-mails, read the news, caught up on lovely blogs, searched for recipes...

This season in our life has become a constant practice in preserving beauty in the present, in what is before us, who is with us and the time before us.

As I watched the sun fully begin to show itself I had my morning time to gather thoughts & be in the Presence before I layered on my wool socks, sweaters & pulled up my pregnancy jeans over my ever-expanding belly, grabbed the snow shovel & began making a path for the postman; put the compost away after picking up apple cores munched on by those little winter friends; dug a path in the sidewalk for the AA patrons who make their way to a meeting at the end of the street and, like a child, make a snow angel or two in the secrecy of the backyard.


This is a season of preserving beauty, relishing in the surprises found throughout each day. Let us celebrate & most importantly, take some time to play in the unexpected, unanticipated snow!

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