Sunday, January 6, 2019

Feel the Adventure, See the Possibility

It's January! In the northern climes, that means short days, cold nights, and lots and lots of snow (perhaps not this year just yet, but we've just begun the month). I sometimes dream of being a "snow bird," one of those adults who fly south to avoid what January has to dish out in Wisconsin.

But then I think of my childhood and how snow meant only one thing: Play! As a little girl, I loved snow and I loved to play in the snow. There were snow forts to be built, snow angels to be formed, snow-topped hills for sledding (and hot cocoa to follow, complete with marshmallows!), and big expanses of our home's backyard for tromping around. Every snowy day was filled with the possibility for adventure, even when snow crept into my hand-knit mittens, forming an icy crust and turning my wrists pink from exposure.

Snowy Days were meant for playing when I was a child.
When I reached school age, snow was still exciting because there might be an occasional Snow Day when the school buses didn't run and school was called off for the day due to a storm. Our home was set back from the busy highway. Digging out our driveway was a task unto itself. There was adventure everywhere, even in the tougher snow-removal jobs. If we weren't completely dug or plowed out, I would trek through the snowy depths to wait for the school bus, my puffy snow pants making that characteristic swishing sound as I walked.

My mom was still smiling after helping my dad shovel snow from our front door.
These days, I tend to look at snow as less of an adventure and more as an irritant. Snow gets in the way of my going out and about when I want to go out and about. It means loading on extra layers of clothes that make moving more of a chore. It means black ice and slippery sidewalks. It means making winter boots part of my everyday fashion statement. It means mounds of snow in the street that require special navigational skills.

Snow is a novelty in November. It's Currier-and-Ives-Christmas-Card-Beautiful in December. By January, however, I'm already tiring of snow (and you don't even want to know what I think when it's still snowing in March -- or mid-April when we experienced not one, but two snowstorms last year!).

If we didn't have the snow, though, would I love each subtle sign, each increasing minute of daylight, each blade of green grass and each burst of spring? Probably not. I would likely take that loveliness for granted.

So as I contemplate the prospect of snowstorms and blizzards during this rather long, 31-day month, I know deep in my heart that the snow still offers opportunity to me. It might not be in the form of a snow day or a snow fort, but it does offer time for reflection. There is something peaceful about sitting in the silence and watching the black, gray and white world around me where the occasional bright red cardinal darts into the depths of the evergreens outside of our kitchen window.

The snow also offers possibility for recreation. I keep saying I'd like to try snowshoeing, so if and when more snow comes, this might be the year!

It's all about our perspectives, be it a snowy day or something else we perceive as an obstacle or unwelcome experience. How we choose to see our experiences is what they will be to us. When we choose to see the opportunity in our every encounter, the burden of placing a value of good or bad on that encounter fades. Instead, it becomes filled with possibility. 

See the possibilities in your life today.

Every day is filled with possibility!

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