Looking for the sparkle amidst the snow…

Pencil sketch of snow covered trees and snowman

Pencil sketch by Diane Mottl (beingtrulypresent.com)

Where I live, it can drift down in lazy swirls or blanket us in white. Kids bundle up to slide in it, build with it, and zing each other with it.

It can turn a 30 minute drive into 2 hours, leave back muscles spasming after heaving too much of it; and can have us combing the internet for getaways deals.

We have no control over when it arrives, how long it stays, how often it will need shoveling, or how far below zero it will dip, hover, or plummet. One day we despise it, curse it, and wish we lived somewhere (anywhere) else. The next, we find ourselves gazing in awe at the way frost-dusted branches sparkle in the morning sun.

Isn’t it rather interesting how it all comes down to what we focus on? Are we seeing what we like? Or what we don’t like? What we have? Or what we wish we had? Isn’t whether we love, like, hate or tolerate winter more about the attitude we bring to it?

(And yes…this post is about so much more than snow).

Do we slog through each day and tell ourselves we will be happy when the circumstances of our lives change? How luring the trap is, to believe that happiness comes when we accomplish this, have that, lose this, gain that. We become so busy waiting for the perfect tomorrow to come, that we miss learning how to experience the joy in an imperfect today.

In the spring and summer moments of our lives, when everything around us is blossoming with potential and beauty, it can be easy to find the joy. But what a gift it is, to find the joy during the dark, cold days. To be able to find the small gifts that are hidden in even the coldest of days, and let the warmth in. To find the sliver of sunlight that causes the snow to sparkle.

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer” — Albert Camus

“For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every day has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously.” — George Gissing

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”  — Anthony J. D’Angelo

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” — Buddha

“Those who wish to sing, always find a song.” — Swedish Proverb

“The grass is greener where you water it.” — Neil Barringham

3 Responses to “Looking for the sparkle amidst the snow…”

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  1. says:

    I had to laugh, because I lived in northern Michigan for the first 34 years of my life, so I know about snow! This will be my first winter in Houston, where we never will be snowed in.

    But, beautifully written post about accepting life as it is. I’ve found that it’s easy to see the beauty, after the hard times are over, but it’s difficult to see it when I’m in the thick of it.

  2. Kim says:

    I enjoyed the post, but I LOVED the sketch. Yes, I AM missing snow, but I’m sure it will still be there in January when I get back to Canada. One of the first things I plan to do is make a snow angel :)

  3. Brenda says:

    Diane, once again, such a thought-provoking entry, and such a beautiful pencil sketch (“sketch” seems so inadequate for your beautiful art…I must come up with a better word). The winter of our lives is a bit like the trees behind the snowman — sometimes we feel as though our branches are bare, vulnerable, yet, with a blanket of snow, they can seem magical and beautiful, and full. The snowman seems to smile at those branches, in a shared secret, perhaps one that says, “There is happiness here; embrace it.” Thank you for your words of wisdom. (P.S. I never thought of Alberta Camus as an optimist! )