There are flakes falling softly outside.
The first snow of the season. It will be a dusting at most.
Ever notice how quiet everything is in snow? The world muffles the cacophony and you’re immersed in silence and calm. There is a scientific reason for it of course. Because snow is porous (more space between the snowflakes when accumulating together), it muffles the sound. The science is lovely and the calm is comforting.
I am thankful for how my back sliding door is in a great position so when I pull back the curtains, I have a peaceful view of the trees, falling precipitation and yard.
Right now, I have music on, decaf coffee, a nervous dog beside me and comfy clothes. I took a half day but it doesn’t feel like it. The time passed quickly and I wanted to use the time wisely. To read, to write, to journal. This isn’t even going to be a worthy post, I can tell. I just wanted to do something. Advance this. For myself.
I’m tired. I know I’m not the only one. It is about to be a season of bustling energy and tasks and lists and people. Everyone can relate. On top of normal season festivities, my Sister’s two sons have Winter birthdays mere weeks apart. So she is a bit busier than usual. (Which if you knew my Sister, is saying something!)
Lately I have found myself more sensitive to noise. Craving a break from ambient noise, carried conversations, music. Sometimes I take my first deep breath when there isn’t a sound around me. That is probably the symptom of a larger issue, but I am not that interested in exploring it just yet. I chalk it up to being weary and mostly blame my stressful tenancies. If I didn’t let myself get worked up by little things, I’d relax (obviously) and those small things wouldn’t grate on me.
I want to be a person who is “chill” more than she isn’t. Who doesn’t get overwhelmed often and who can learn to process rather than stuff away or pretend things don’t exist (like emotions or thoughts). I objectively and rationally know I’m not a person that is a ball of stress 24/7. I know that I enjoy flexibility and don’t need (even sometimes bristle against) structure. I like the unexpected and little surprises. Yet not in all areas, and in the ones where I’m vulnerable, it more than makes up for the rest. That is what I’ve discovered.
So while I’m go-with-the-flow in many areas, I’m a drastic opposite in others and it is those that get most of my notice and regret. So it is those in which I should give myself grace and welcome discipline in overcoming.
I’m constantly in a state of wanting to improve. Not that I’m never good enough (though, okay, yes I’ve felt that plenty of times), but usually in a way that a student wants to learn more from a teacher. From someone who has knowledge and experience and passion for the subject. In a facet of life where I could certainly use the lessons. [Update: I had finished this piece, not yet published, and from then to now, I had a minor meltdown in front of my dog and my husband. This tells me I am still very much not relaxed. Also, he is still here, so it shows he is also a super hero, my husband. Y’all…I’m a mess.]
This comes, of course, from my Maker. He is the sole authority on all that I hold dear and in the ways in which I seek to do better. He is the authority on Love, on Life. He defined and created them – to whom better can I say “Here I am, use me/show me/teach me/keep me/send me/quiet me/embolden me…”?
This is how it gets here…this thought train often begins jumbled and imperfect and monotonous. Then, if I stick with it, it takes me to the peace that always comes when I come here. How marvelous.
The unknown doesn’t have to be scary. It is, naturally, and that is nothing to be embarrassed by, if felt. It too, however, can be thrilling and exciting. Something to explore like a new city or a new food or a new friendship. Something to navigate and test and stretch and learn from. That is the lovely endeavor.
Advent is almost here and I’m looking forward to investing in the season. In coming intentionally to a place of worship and hope and curiosity.
Part of why I love these Seasons so much is the tenderness which runs throughout like a creek flowing downstream. From heights to new terrain, it refreshes the landscape and gives life to so much that teems both above and below.
For me, the Season of Thanksgiving and Christmas are the peaks of joy, eucharisteo (the act of giving thanks), love and honor. This first snowfall, that is still trickling down, welcomes me into the doors of this time. I find peace here. I find arms of comfort, of mercy, of triumph over the darkness that lurks. I find the reminder of identity. I find my way home. To the home that is true – that is not temporal like these walls I sit within. The home that missed me enough to create a way for me to come back, without strife, without guilt, without worry of acceptance.
Love. Wholeness. Holiness.
That is what my soul needs every day. That is what is always available to me. I only have to accept it, see it, be engulfed by it. I only have to rest.
What is your favorite part of the coming seasons?