Falling Snow and Passing Time

Time seems to fly by. If one talks to any dear one in their 80’s or 90’s, they’ll heartily agree with you and exhort you not to waste it. They’ll also exhort you to stop for a moment and quit flying through life so fast.

Part of my latest new adventures in Indiana has involved snow. I barely missed experiencing the recent winter blast that came and dumped over a foot of snow and brought with it record low temperatures. At the time, I was down South visiting family some of whom assured me I was “nuts” to live up north. Maybe I am. However, I did not entirely miss out on the snow fun as I flew back right after. Having my car buried in a rather dauntingly huge snow drift and then the adventure driving back to my apartment a couple of days later were experiences not soon to be forgotten.

Yet, snow has me thinking about time today. Sure, the snow from the large storm has for the most part melted, and everyone has returned to their normal routines. However, winter is definitely not over yet, it’s barely just begun. As I was walking swiftly from teaching one class to my next one in another building today, I walked outside and huge snowflakes were softly falling. My first thought was “Great, here we go again, and oh, it’s SO cold.” But then, after I finished teaching my second class of the day, I took a little slower walk back to my office and looked up at the sky. It really is beautiful. Can you imagine? God designed every single one of those unique snowflakes that are softly falling around me.

The trouble is that I often have the tendency to only look at things from the perspective that something is inconvenient. As is obvious above, my first reaction was negative. I sometimes only see how something messed up my schedule or my comfort or became an obstacle to what I wanted. During the after effects of the snow storm, I so much enjoyed the rare treat of staying at my friends’ house for a couple of days waiting for the opportune moment to safely drive home. Yet, I so missed being back home after my vacation. It’s natural. One covets one’s own bed, shower, stuffed animals (Yes, it’s true! They’re my little reassuring French-named friends who remind me of home and days gone by), and routine. However, making memories with those dear friends who took me in was special too, and I got home soon enough. One’s outlook life and beauty does so often depend entirely on perspective.

As I was preparing to dig my car out of the drift with the help of a good friend of mine, I looked up and saw this:

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I loved the simplicity and the contrast.There were snowflakes gently falling, and it was absolutely quiet with only the sound of a soft whisper of a breeze. It took my breath away and not just because it was so cold outside either. Time seemed to have stopped for just a moment right then.

It’s not always easy in my crazy fast and busy life to just take a moment and quietly look around me. So, today, after I finished teaching, I just watched the snow falling outside my office window and thought about how another day was almost over. I tried to resist the temptation to only think about what homework is due tomorrow or what lesson I need to plan, I just wanted to be thankful for the time I’ve been given. The snow will pass soon enough as will the following seasons. But, I believe the key to not just surviving my crazy life but instead living it ambitiously will involve taking these moments when time seems to stop to just see the beauty around me. The mind and the body need so desperately that feeling of relief and quiet joy when one beholds something that is just inexplicably beautiful.

I hope you, dear friend, are blessed to stop and see something beautiful no matter how simple it may be. The truly wonderful part of it is that you are the one who decides if it is beautiful.

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