Wednesday, December 1, 2010

snow and juxtaposition

How fitting that this, the first of December, we get our first real snow here. The dog is in the backyard eating it off of the porch. For some reason, he really enjoys the snow as it tumbles out of the air silent and fluffy. Rain, however, does not amuse him in the slightest. He detests it and won't go outside at all. For now, he is leaving little snail trails with his tongue, blending paw prints into an indiscernible line leading only in circles.

Inside in the warmth of my house, I get to watch for the first time the way the wind carries the flakes here: nearly horizontal now, with great white swirling masses blowing out of the roof ridges and across the stillness of the yard. I adore watching the snow so long as I am not looking at it through my windshield. It is the epitome of peacefulness this way: still, silent, and graceful, whether it stays or quickly melts away, all traces of its brief existence erased from history. When I am behind the wheel of my car, I perceive the same thing quite differently; it becomes a monster of sorts, swirling, torrential, nearly venomous in the driving conditions it creates. Most of the danger is a product of my overactive anxiety and tensing my muscles as I brace myself from the cold probably doesn't help either, but I hate driving in the snow. If all that fell on the road melted away or I could simply stay indoors the four months out of the year it decided to fall, I'd be perfectly content in my little illusion.

Funny how something so simple as water can morph itself into several different forms and take on so many attributes, from the placid calm of a woodland stream to a ranging hurricane. The gentle rolling of a river can carve out marvelous canyons given time, and can also just mosey along, gently nurturing the world around it, providing a life-giving source of refreshment. Water holds in its nature strength and power yet it is gentle and yielding. It just as easily will crash violently over rapids or flow calmly around a fallen branch.

I've always admired simple things but I especially admire water and it's unique ability to fill so many roles and change so easily and often. My goal is to learn from it today, as it swirls around my yard in a fury, and more willingly embrace change in my life.

How amazing it would be to be like water, flexible and supportive but strong enough to move mountains.

Image from here.

1 comment:

  1. When I lived on an island in Florida, I had a boating mentor of sorts, who had spent some time working the big commercial fishing boats, and he used to talk about how bad the seas would get in a storm. I asked him once about whether or not he experienced fear during those times, and he said "You'd be a fool not to be afraid." As he taught me how to navigate my little 13 foot aluminum fishing boat, 8 miles to work each day, he ingrained in me a healthy respect for the sheer power of nature and taught me how to steer my boat directly into the specific curve of a wave, so its power would draw my boat up and over the top of the wave, instead of the wave gaining ascendancy and filling my little boat with water. I have never lost that lesson, and to this day, I think of the art of navigating water as a metaphor for the journey of life. Sometimes, we have to steer directly into what we fear to learn how to navigate it. Teresa~