Monday, November 21, 2011

and so it begins

Winter is a tough time in Minnesota. The first snow is lovely and it's nice to have a white Christmas, but pretty much everything after that is, let's say, less than ideal. I don't think this is what God had in mind when he created that garden. It's dark and cold and isolating in the Northern places of the world. We got our first snow this week on Saturday and it messed up some plans that we had. That's all a part of it. From now until April, we'll be hunkering down for the long, frigid hibernation.

I made a deal with myself that I would stay mindful and try to both notice the beauty that is here and create beauty when I have a hard time finding any around me. In truth, I would never have to create any beauty for lack of it because there is always so much already here. This takes a disciplined eye and an open heart. But the beauty is everywhere I look when I force my tired eyes to see.

Take this little sprite I found in my cupboard:

Or just take a look at this sweet face and try not to smile:

All the snow and cold and even the deepest of darkness can't obscure this kind of beauty. And these are just the most brilliant of the good things in my life. There are also the small things: the hot tea and the fuzzy scarves and the talks with my friends. There's the soup cooking in the pot and the touch of my husband's lips on my cheek. There's the dogs warming my feet as I write these words. And there's so much more that can never be told. As I enter this season of frozen landscapes and bitter winds, I'll be tending to the warm fire of my blessings.


  1. Your words are warm & inviting. You'll have to keep writing's a long winter. Keep it up.

    Love you.

  2. Thanks Mia. Maybe we can remind each other to refocus when the weather makes us crazy.

  3. those grandsons are delicious ... i love the chin ... soft spot for prominent chins :)

  4. (It is especially Lincoln's chin that I'm admiring.)

  5. For as long as I can remember, I've always had a hard time with the cold. Numb, burning fingers and toes, a nose that dripped, slipping and falling. Sadly, snow lost its beauty for me altogether when I had to start driving in it and on the compact ice it created. I had a hard time seeing it like the little ones I knew.

    But I love what you're noticing around you: what's already there, what's inviting you to look and see. I love that you see.

  6. Hi Terri.
    I hate snow! Bah Hum Bug! And the thing is, we see very little of it in the south, but last winter in Tn was a bad winter for us. Of course, you would laugh at what we consider a "bad winter." But, a snowflake down here will shut down city hall, but leave the colleges open. Go figure?

    I used to love snow when it would get me out of school. But I am all grown up now and the colleges are not so quick to shut down......even though we have a bunch of people on the dang roads that can't drive, myself included.

    I can't even drive WITHOUT snow. Imagine an environmental hazard. If I had to take a drivers test in Minnesota, not only would I fail, but DMV would declare me a road hazard and ban me from ever receiving my license.

    I would be forced to get a cab everywhere I went. Honestly, I am only half joking. Every time I took pour Nathan captive in my car, he would start singing, "Jesus take the wheel" and start adding his own lyrics...."Take it from Tammy's hands" True story.

  7. PS. Your little grandsons are adorable there peeping at you. Irresistible!

  8. oh those sweet and beautiful faces. they're downright angelic!

    my heart hurts with the upcoming winter. i, too, am so trying to see the beauty, but i know now what the winters mean for my spirits and i confess that i am fearful that this winter will find me in the same dark places.

    prayers your way and i covet prayers coming mine.

  9. tara: they are delicious, aren't they? and the chin...i could kiss it all day long.

    kirsten: i'm glad you're in a warm place now. florida looks good on you.

    tammy: oh it's good to have you back. you always make me smile.

    lori: i know that the winter is challenging for you for some really good reasons. i'm praying for health of mind and heart for you and health of body for your little one. love you.