Breath in a time of snow
As the year moves forward, the mind casts back… to snow.
Deeply imprinted in my mind is the experience of snow. Within that fall countless stories of snow personal to my own life, some with elements of fear, danger, pain, but all softened by the beauty of snow itself. Even dangling from a rope deep in a crevasse, uncertain of outcome, there was as much contemplation of the wonder of water in its frozen state as there was of my own life situation … there was an immediate transporting from terror into beauty.
Now so many miles and years away from those snowy winters, the beauty remains. All I need do is to close my eyes and it is snowing again, some deep magic to calm the senses, the rush of water slowed to stunning stillness, sharp sparkle of ice crystals gradually muted layer upon layer, until the entire landscape is softly blanketed and a hush descends like prayer itself.
New Year’s Eve is forever and always a time of (meditation on) snow. We sit in a moment of quietude and rest, the days layered upon each other until the landscape stretches out before us as one solid vista: this year … this year and the next. In between is the collective dream: peace.
There will be flurries and blizzards and whiteouts… sudden avalanches… but always, underlying, is the inherent natural truth of oneness and a return to stillness.
Spring will come and mountains of snow will melt in warm sunlight, life springing anew from the rushing water, and the sky filling with joyful tears to shed on fresh petals… spring will come.
But for now, a shared precious moment to sleep and dream together, and to inhabit a landscape of calm beauty that is always there. All we need do is to close our eyes. And breathe.
This year my resolutions are simplified and deepened in simplicity: breath. There have been so many iterations, hundreds of heartfelt words whittled down and whittled down from sincere long vows to simpler and simpler phrases: breath and karma, breath and intention, breath and compassionate action… but the haiku mind best sits with one word: breath.