Sunday, March 1, 2020

Winter Gratitude

The winter landscape around me changes every day, sometimes several times a day. The bare and solemn trees stand like quiet statues on a clear day creating lace-like shadows on the sparkling snow as the bright sunlight moves across the vivid blue sky. And then with a sudden wind, the snow covered ground and sky turn a numbing grey and the dark tree trunks with their delicate branches sway like like giant feathers as the the wind howls through them announcing the storm that is on it's way. We all respond to different weather in our own personal way, just like the trees.

February has ended and a frosty first day of March is here. I am enjoying looking outside from indoors because it’s too cold out there and the bright sun reflecting off the snow illuminates our home with sunshine which is quite invigorating - why go outside with all this beautiful sunshine inside?  I am grateful that I don’t have to go outdoors daily during cold and stormy winters anymore because I work at home. But I did endure many winters going to work five days a week when I was younger, with a family to raise and many responsibilities. For the most part, except when it was dangerous to drive or when we experienced long power outages, I didn’t mind winter because it was a familiar part of my heritage growing up in Montreal and I always loved the continuously changing beauty of the winter landscape. Snowy cold days for me were always quietly contemplative even in the traffic.

After many years, I realized that talking about what we hate and love about the winter weather is an experience we share with everyone we know who lives here in Canada. It’s a common social thread that has united us for ages, long before social media ever existed. I am personally grateful for winter. It reminds me of my childhood neighborhood and school. As an adult, I feel it forces us to quiet our minds especially in January and February and hopefully rest. Winter is uniquely beautiful in many ways but it also challenges us to cultivate endurance and self-reflection whether we are enjoying it or despising it.

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