One of my favorite things about living in the South is our kooky reaction to winter weather. As the first flakes of frozen precipitation begin to fall from above, we feel compelled to act as if the sky itself is falling. School is cancelled. There is a run on the grocery store. Motorists on all major thoroughfares immediately smash into fellow vehicles. We stack up our firewood, pile on the blankets, and drink mug after mug of hot chocolate. It’s amazing.
We have just weathered one of those storms, and, as we emerge from the blizzard of 2016, I find myself realizing what it is that I love so much about our winter panic- in the midst of the storm, everything stops. We stay at home. Engage with our families. Cook luxurious meals and excuse ourselves from going to work, to the gym, to board meetings and the other obligations that fill our days. We shelter in place.
In essence, we take a sabbath.
I cannot tell you how much the last few days have meant to me. I have had real conversations with my family. I have gotten down on the floor and played with my children. I took moments to pet my dog. Wash my dishes by hand. Talk to my neighbors. I have marveled at the beauty of nature, and listened to good music. In essence, I have taken time to stop and truly enjoy this beautiful life I am living.
In typical Southern fashion, the weather today is heading towards 50 degrees. On the street outside of my office I see people in winter parkas walking next to others in t-shirts. And I find myself a bit sad about the thaw. Because although I appreciate the return to normal patterns and schedules, I know I will miss the freedom and space created by the snow.
For the record, no, I am am not wishing for an eternal winter. But I do find myself asking what it is about these snow days that are so meaningful. What practices can I carry forward into the sunshine?
Here are some questions I have been asking myself in the discovery process… maybe they will resonate with you as well:
What do I cherish the most about snow days?
What elements of this time can I begin to incorporate into my own sabbath practices?
How can I hold myself accountable to engage deeply in relationships with those I love in the midst of my busy-ness?
Are there any new traditions I can put in place in my life to capture some of this whimsy and peace I love so dearly?