The first real snowfall of a newly cold season is always a little shocking. Especially when it seems to come out of nowhere on the tails of an Alaskan typhoon. One day the ground is brown and dry, the sun is out and the corn is still waiting to be harvested…..and then next everything is blindingly white, the horizon is grey with snow-filled clouds and the memory of dry ground grows more distant with each glance out the window. Piles and drifts of snow now cover every inch of the ground, buildings, trees and roads.
This morning as it was still coming down, I went out into the garden and woods behind the house on snowshoes. It was eerily quiet, all sounds muted by the layer of new snow. Even though we live out-of-town, cars can still usually be heard going by on the busier roads, planes occasionally fly overhead and people are out and about. Not so today-it was silent, except for the thud from piles of snow that sometimes fell to the ground from the trees, or a bird calling from an unseen perch. The only sounds I could hear were from the earth herself, relishing in the respite from human frenzy, enjoying the deep stillness, if even for just a short while. The silence was eventually broken by a tow truck that slipped off the road and into the ditch, its lights flashing in the white expanse, but even the harsh sounds of metal clanging were overshadowed by the sense of calm.
Perhaps this sense of stillness and peace is the earth’s way of telling us to stop. To rest. To slow the constant push to move on to the next thing. There are so many who may never stop to take in what is actually happening in the world. To rest. To be with what is happening “right now” in their lives. I suppose that is their choice, and one that I have to accept. I’ve been that person, too, and will probably be again. Even on my best days, I’ve never been able to impact someone else’s free will. And sometimes I forget that I have my own to do with what I wish. That’s ok as long as I remember more than I forget. Those ‘other’ people? They are ok, too, and they can exist how they need to. So can I. I can choose to acknowledge the way of stillness and peace, even in the midst of those who do not. Even in the midst of my own inner typhoons when they start to swirl – every storm has an eye, after all, one that provides space to remember and grab onto that peace to ride out the next wave.
So I can embrace the stillness that lives inside and give thanks for it when it is visible outside. I can make peace with what is, what has been and what will be. And above all, as Rumi celebrates, I can Come out from the circle of time and into the circle of love. I can be shocked by what’s possible when I live that way.
Allow yourself to be shocked by what’s possible.