I thoroughly enjoy seeing the first snowflakes of the winter season just as I enjoy other ‘firsts’ of each season….the first daffodil in spring, the first day it’s warm enough for shorts in the summer and the first leaves that change color in the fall. I’m very thankful that I live in a place that has seasonal changes. Being self-employed gives me flexibility in my schedule and the opportunity to take advantage of the gifts that comes with each season.
The beginning of winter brings on cozy things like lighting the fireplace, burning candles and digging out the warm, fuzzy slippers. The lower temperatures of winter also mean that it’s time to bring out the winter coats, hats, mittens and yes, even the snow boots. The cold temperatures definitely limit the time I’m able to be out on my bicycle, but as long as it’s above 40 and there is no snow on the ground, I am still able to bundle up and enjoy occasional rides. When the weather doesn’t allow for bicycling, I can always dig out my hiking gear and head out to the Appalchian Trail for a beautiful, wintry walk in the woods. When I can’t be out in nature I can be doing something else I enjoy—sitting at my workbench creating some new piece of jewelry and enjoying a nice, hot cup of coffee.
We had our first snowfall a few days ago here in Central PA and as I sat at my workbench and watched the snow coming down, I decided to take a break so that my Golden Retriever, Denver, and I could enjoy all that the snow could offer. I bundled up in all of my winter ‘duds’ and headed out my back door for a walk in the field behind our neighborhood. Several neighbors keep a path mowed through the tall weeds and trees and it is a perfect place to enjoy a walk in the freshly fallen snow.
Denver, of course, went completely wild, running as fast as he could through the un-marked snow. I, on the other hand, got partway through the field and just stood still. There is something so peaceful and calming about being outside while it is still snowing. As millions of tiny snowflakes begin to lay a white carpet over everything there is a sense of tranquility that comes with that. This particular morning it was so quiet and still that I could actually hear the snow as it gently landed all around me. I even allowed myself to be a bit like a child for a bit and turned my face upward and opened my mouth, allowing the snowflakes to land on my tongue. (yes, hoping that the neighbors were not looking out their windows.:) )
Denver and I were alone in the field and it felt like time almost stood still. I’ve always found hiking somewhat therapeutic and a time when I can sort through things in my mind, but it is even more helpful when it is snowing. Taking step after step along the snowy path in the silence of the morning was so refreshing that I almost wished I could go on like that forever. Being out in that silent solitude can help me to put other things in my life in perspective and can make the other more complicated aspects of my life not seem quite as overwhelming. Unfortunately, after a while, the cold began to seep through all of my winter clothing and I finally had to head in for a hot cup of tea to thaw out.
As I said in my last post, I am hoping to be more purposeful in how I spend my time and energies. I hope to take advantage of other opportunities to enjoy many different things that may present themselves in my life. That day it was stopping the work of the day long enough to do something that is truly good for my soul. It is my hope that doing things like that will help me to become more ‘present’ and to become more thankful for things that I have a tendency to take for granted……like the beauty of nature.
As I sat back down at my workbench after the walk, I did have a more peaceful and positive feeling. If only there was a way to bottle that feeling……….or better yet, make a piece of jewelry that could somehow impart those feelings to the person wearing it. Hmmmmmmmm……….I wonder what that would look like. 🙂