I believe most of my fellow northeastern Ohioans have had enough snow by now. It’s a challenge to appreciate a season that has extended periods of cold weather, poor driving conditions, poor affects on health, etc.. Aside from winter and all its beauty, I struggle to let this season pass. Personally, it appears as if I learn valuable lessons most during the season of winter (and perhaps someday that will change).
Then spring follows winter. And spring is a season that I’ve experienced some of the greatest feelings of complete dread and hopelessness. And following that is summer, meaning at times mothering will take up a lot more time and energy than my mind and body can handle.
Several months ago I came across an article on snow and a few metaphors it represents. There are some pretty neat insights that can be learned from snow, if we look at it in a new light.
…and maybe there will continue to be eye rolling and moans. Hold on there, don’t leave yet. I promise this is cool stuff.
This past year I’ve been rethinking a lot about the ways I view my beliefs and my personal history. In all honesty, I wish that I had started this rethinking, or relearning, ten years ago. But, I’ll stand by the words of Richard Rohr (sometimes with whining) that “everything belongs“. I feel as if culture/society has put this belief in my head that I have to be at some “pinnacle” of life by the age of forty. And that pinnacle has to do with occupation, success, material things, having it all together, etc. The reality is this- I cut back my hours at my job, it isn’t a “success” story, we still have the same cozy house and (up until last fall) cars we had ten years ago, and it seems as if I keep falling apart. Time to let go of that pinnacle stigma. I doubt all of that will be achieved in less than a year. Sure, it’d be nice to have all those things. And society will continue to “tell” me that I won’t be happy unless I have all those things.
I wonder if Poppy was right (thank you “Trolls”)- happiness is inside you. Or, at least I’m learning, that the journey inward appears to have brought on the most personal growth, more than outward things have provided. And maybe realizing this has been, in a sense, my own personal “pinnacle”…
I’m learning a lot on this ongoing, inward journey. Some may say a journey inward sounds selfish. However, by going inward, I’ve discovered more about myself and God- the God within myself and all things- that continues to amaze unexpectedly. If learning about God is selfish, then my journey in life becomes more narcissistic with the passing of each season.
Many years would come and go until I realized I had to face all of my past. I thought I could live life just by sticking my foot in the water. Touching it was good enough, now I can move on. Now I should be able to have it all together, and have unwavering divine faith. I didn’t know I’d have to dive in deep and stay there a while.
I didn’t want to deal with the past..I mean, it’s in the past! “Pull yourself up by the bootstraps” and “get over it” is the mentality that culture/society would have me believe.
At times I’ve found myself wanting to rush the process of learning about myself and the parts that have been avoided. I’ve wanted to hurry up and be at my full potential right now (not really knowing what that looks like). For the first time in my life I have a surprisingly big dream and I want it to happen now (not fully understanding what that looks like either). But maybe there’s molding and stretching and growth to be experienced at a mysterious pace that, unbeknownst to me, is the best way. And I’ll be the first to say that in my experience, that has definitely been much easier said than done.
Snow can be a gentle reminder of that lesson. I can wish and pray and plead to be given an answer, be shown the path, be taught the lesson quickly, but that is not always the best way. It has taken a very, very long time to learn that I cannot continue living without addressing my brokenness. The mental and physical parts of my body were, in a sense, putting up huge road blocks in allowing me to pass swiftly through this life. Like softly falling snow, some lessons can only be learned at a gently falling pace.
Like really, really, really, slowly.
This hasn’t always been easy. But reflecting back, the best lessons I’ve learned thus far have been when I’ve allowed myself to let go of the need to hurry the process. Letting go and trusting the pace of the snow. Sometimes the other methods of precipitation just won’t work. Especially the “unceasing rain pour”, submerging and destroying crops…like gaining too much unnecessary knowledge on something, yet not fully understanding the teaching-as if it’s spoken in a foreign language (am I even making sense?).
By the way, I like rain. However, I am incredibly thankful for the teachers that teach like gently falling snow.
Perhaps my words are a “rain pour” (this is a struggle when it comes to teaching math to my children), or maybe I just wish there wasn’t so much negativity associated with snow.
To most of my neighbors’ delight, there will eventually be a final snow this season, and the final “teaching” before spring will melt into the ground. Will I be able to pause long enough to let it soak in? Or will I quickly move on, not letting the value of the lesson “melt and integrate” into my mind…my body…my soul…
It appears that water has an infinite amount of metaphors and this post could go on into eternity.
As for me, I’ll quietly look forward to more snow in the forecast.