Ever since I was a little girl, I looked forward to the sight of the beautiful white flakes that fall from the sky. Of course I was excited that school was cancelled (or could be), but for me, I was excited about the idea that maybe my family would all stay home, drink hot chocolate and have a fun day together. Virginia Beach always had unpredictability in their forecasts, so the night before it was supposed to snow, my little brother and I would wear our pajamas inside out, because we heard that that makes snow fall. The next morning, we’d run to our windows in pure excitement to see what the night before had left for us. It’s been that way ever since I can remember. Even now, I wake up at 2am if it’s supposed to snow, just to catch a glimpse of nature’s beauty.
OK, sure. This does seem like a silly post and it’s not Medium related, but honestly, it’s about much more than a childish excitement about the powdery white stuff that cancels school. Snow asks us to pause, reflect, and rejuvenate – and sometimes we are forced to listen.
We spend weeks before a snow storm listening to newscasters tell us, “It’s going to be a MONSTER storm! Stay INDOORS! 90 MILLION inches of snow are coming!!!!! (exaggeration)) Then we jump on Facebook to everyone and their mother’s opinion to when it’s going to snow, how much it’s going to accumulate, and how badly they do or don’t want it. We are a bunch of human’s trying to predict something that is just not predictable. But then it happens: the sky turns a beautifully blue shade of grey, the cold becomes crisp, and the snowflakes begin to fall.
I love that moment, I love walking outside at the first sight of snowfall, and noticing how incredibly still the world becomes. It’s the kind of silence that you can hear. It isn’t a peacefulness that can be bottled and bought. It is an authentic connection with the most unpredictable thing in the world, mother nature.
At this point, I then begin looking to check and see if I’ll be driving anywhere, checking Facebook, watching the news. And what I’ve found is all those posts about predictions turn into snowman, family snowball fights, friends and family pictures, or the occasional complaint about having to go to work. Most of us are allowed to stay home from work, stay off the roads, and given time to be with ourselves and our families. For those that have to work, I always say a prayer for their safety. But I have been on both ends of that spectrum, and I learned to appreciate both energies.
When I am given time off due to a snow event, I always look at where I am emotionally and physically. When I was a kid, I didn’t notice it at all, I knew I just loved the time with my family. But as I grew older, I started to realize that the things I dealt with over the break were imperative to my growth during that time period. There were a few times my husband and I were able to talk for hours and hours (Debates and all) and really able to dig through the trenches of issues we really needed to work on but might not have had the time too in everyday life. There were other times where I literally just slept the entire time. And sometimes, my childish self comes out to play, and I take our puppy out and play in the snow. I react differently to the experience every time.
Why? Because I believe that snow gives us the opportunity to take a break. To pause, and deal with what we have going on, what our SOUL needs. And sure, I bet it’s different for those New Yorkers that get snow all the time. But even they can’t deny the beauty. Snow is a white light, a beautiful blanket of clearing, that shows the earth some immaculate beauty. But more over, it affects so many of our physical lives.
I worked on a horse farm for many years, and owned my own horse at times. When you work on a farm, you can’t call out of work for snow. Horses need food, and water, and if you don’t show up, they don’t eat. So you do whatever you need to do to get there. I always used to become angry at the snow, because it made life so difficult, and cold. I had to stack on layers on layers, drive 15miles an hour in a Honda civic, and plow my way through
Pungo roads (NOT EASY). But I went. Every time. I learned from all those years of working on a farm that even though I didn’t get to stay home with the family, I got a different experience – and even that was what my soul needed.
There were times I thought about quitting some of the farms I was on due to the people that I was surrounded by. But I loved the horses, and just being with them was worth it. On those tough snow days, those people didn’t plow through the snow, they stayed home. And I got to go to work, and do what I loved to do. My soul was always replenished, and I always left that work day with tons of pictures and memories I wouldn’t have traded.
My point? I feel like snow calls us to action, calls us to look at our lives through different perspectives, and it calls us to slow down and really pay attention. I’m sure most of us even think about the homeless during this time period. I know I do! And I’ve noticed how the shelters step up there game, advertise on the news, and the community donates when maybe they weren’t before. I know that we can learn from everything, but snow sure has taught me a lot.
If your getting a day of rest, ask yourself why you need it in the first place. Just ask yourself why you think you’re being called to whatever situation your in. If you’re being called to work, I hope that you get there safely. If you get to be with your families, take some time to BE with your family. Play a game, build a snowman, re unite.
So take a moment to go on a walk. Look and Listen. The stillness will bring your soul some peace.