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.