I remember a lady from Norway saying to me once, 'there is no such thing as bad weather Richard, only bad clothing!' She makes a good point. As one who draws inspiration from observing nature, I have found that with this study the more challenging weather becomes less something to endue and more something to engage with, marvel at and learn from. In short I love the seasons. However I acknowledge the last few days will have been a real challenge for some and I've no doubt we all are grateful to those who have no choice but to venture out in all weathers to keep us safe and healthy.
As I write this large, thick, fluffy snowflakes continue to float gently yet persistently from the sky, covering much of the United Kingdom in a blanket of snow over the last 48 hours. For many though who don't need to travel, today will have become a 'snow day'!
And I have noticed something. There is something in the air. Not only the snowflakes. A kind of charge of excitement and anticipation. Something we have lost amongst our busy and all to often disconnected lives. Something magical!
Last night heavy snow had settled before the pub opposite closed and an impromptu snow ball fight erupted in the car park at last orders. This morning excited children woke to learn their schools were closed and the snow had settled. As snowfall is less frequent these days with warmer winters, many youngsters will today be experiencing their first snow day. Whilst making my breakfast a starry eyed group of children passed by on their way to the local park, chatting and laughing loudly whilst pulling sledges behind them. Friends have posted videos of curious pets encountering the white stuff for the first time.
Have you ever stood at the window and watched the snow fall, totally mesmerised, perhaps opening the window to draw a deep breath of that clean, crisp smell? Snow is cleansing. In the air as it falls silently, gathering with it both pollution and sound, but also on the ground as it paints the land anew. Many of us will recall the joy of being the first to a field or park after fresh snowfall and staring at it like a blank canvas just waiting for our footprint creation!
“Children see magic because they look for it.”
― Christopher Moore
So what this sense of something deeper I feel. So many people I meet are disenchanted with life. They have been hurt, struggle with meaning and feel a sense of helplessness at the way of the world. They are looking down. Down at their feet, down at their phone. We have become evermore disconnected, from each other and from the natural world around us and the simple joys these interactions can bring. We have forgotten to look for the magic.
Snow seems to rekindle in us a sense of wonder, it causes or forces us to slow down or stop. To stand and marvel. To focus on what is important and connect through necessity with those around us. And perhaps, to become a little bit less stressed and therefore nicer in the process. Priorities realign. People say things like, 'he's never seen snow before, I won't go to work, I will go to the park and play'. On social media people are offering help and advice to others affected by the weather. We stand and we notice and we remark, wow, doesn't that frozen lake or tree look beautiful.
Where we have become disenchanted, we are re-enchanted.
We notice the magic.
So when the snow eventually melts and the green shoots of spring take hold, as they no doubt soon will, we will once again be able to pick up that faster pace of life. But it is my snow day wish that we perhaps hold onto something from our snow enforced 'pause and look', let us hope we continue to look for the magic.
In a noisy world the snow brings us a moment of quiet wonder and serenity - may you regain your childlike wonder, may you always see the magic! x
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