Thursday, December 18, 2008


I thought I had a love hate relationship with snow. It’s so beautiful. The silence and quietness that envelopes you completely. Building snowmen and making snow angels. Snow-shoeing and sled rides. But it’s also shoveling our driveway, and if deep enough, the entire gravel road we live on just to get to a plowed, paved road. And then there’s the icy roads, with not enough snow and ice each year to remember from the year before how to actually drive in the darn stuff. And the fact that most of the people in the county live over 1000 feet lower down the mountain than us, and are being rained on, and not understanding why we’re stuck, while the snow at our house is building up inch by dreadful inch.

We have been ready to leave the snow for over a year. Our house is on the market. (Need I mention what kind of market we’re in?) We want to live lower, out of the forest, have warmer winters, a longer growing season, have a vegetable garden and an orchard for fruit trees. We are done shoveling, done digging, done risking our lives on curvy icy mountain roads.

Yet something this year revealed itself to me. It’s not the snow that I am fighting against. It’s the schedules. It’s the appointments. It’s society’s insistence that we go on with a 9-5 routine, 5 days a week, every week of the year. There is no allowance for snow. For weather, for goodness sake! You must still go to school, be to work on time work, attend your meetings. It’s the rigidity of the work-driven county I live in that I’m pushing up against. It’s the clock. It’s the calendar. It’s the regimented life that so many insist we follow.

And I want it to stop! I do not want to fight my way down the mountain, I want to take a walk in the snow and enjoy the stillness. I want to curl up with a book and a cup of tea in front of the wood stove and not worry about going anywhere. I want to flow with nature’s rhythms ~ the shortened days, hunkering down, the season for going within. I want to appreciate the here and now. I want to savor the present.

I am ready for a change in priorities. Working hard, making money (or scraping by), focusing on the elusive future ~ weekends, vacations, retirement ~ we have missed so much with this narrow vision of what life can be. Adhering to schedules, timelines, calendars, all that have nothing to do with the season of the year or the length of a day. The snow is here to remind us to slow down, to go within. It is not a time of sowing or harvesting. It is the time of year to pause, to reflect, to dream, and to simply be. The time of year that reminds me to quiet my very busy mind, the chatter, the constantly doing, the lists. Having a road covered in snow gently forces me to take care of immediate needs, the present ~ enough wood for the stove? enough food? And to reflect on all that the previous year has brought, and what I’d like the next year to bring. But without having to act on any of it!

I’m ready for our society to shift its focus from constantly doing more, being busy, working so hard to have the many gadgets and appliances and the stuff that merely distracts us from the present. Instead I want us all to shift to connecting, to creating, and to simply being.

So it turns out I don’t hate snow at all. I actually love this time of year and I love the snow.


  1. I love this post! Maybe that's why I hate winter--my instincts are telling me to slow down, but the world is still cracking the whip on me to go go go! Very insightful!

  2. Tracy, nice post. I hear ya, my sentiments exactly. I think we have lost something near and dear to us with this constant struggle we have created to achieve "the dream".