So it’s snowy, blowy, and cold here in Michigan on this Monday afternoon. I’m home now, so I don’t altogether mind this weather, and in fact am rather comforted by the ability to stay indoors with my dogs and potter around the house for a change. Of course there were places to go this morning – a quick trip to Joe’s Market to get some pears for my salad lunch tomorrow, a stopover at the Classical Bell rehearsal to fill in for a friend during their last hour. But then, I was home, not gone long enough even for Magic and Molly to miss me, for they were still curled up in their sleeping chair by the window when I came into the house.
I really enjoy the particular way snow illuminates a room – it casts such a sparkling, clean glow on everything, especially when it’s first falling. For some reason it makes me sentimental, and today I’m recalling other snowy days in my life, when there was a small boy in the house to entertain and nothing but time with which to do it. I’m sure it seemed as if I had pressing concerns in those days, but now looking back, there was really nothing more important (or there shouldn’t have been!) then reading the pile of picture books we kept on the coffee table or helping him arrange his fleet of Matchbox cars around the perimeter of the bed. There were no reports to write for work, no music to learn, no one who needed transportation to a store or a doctor’s office.
Life was simple then, and I just didn’t know it.
Friday night I attended a high school production of Our Town, Thornton Wilder’s classic play about life in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire at the turn of the century. The play was unusually well done by high school standards, and I felt that most of the main characters really “got” the message Wilder was trying to convey about the precious nature of everyday life.
“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” Emily Gibbs plaintively asks from the grave.
Probably not. Certainly most days I am mostly irritated by life…by the constant running to and fro, the endless worries about health and money and the state of the world, the forever nagging feeling that I should be doing something other than what I’m doing, should be more productive, more effective, more proactive.
So this afternoon, instead of persisting in a mad dash through Monday, I consciously slowed my pace to match the gently falling flakes of snow, settled into my chair with a blanket and hot tea, spent several minutes scratching Magic in that favorite spot behind his ears, gave Molly equal time by rubbing the nape of her neck, and then read two chapters in a new book one of my friends loaned me yesterday.
Nothing exciting here on a snowy, blowy Monday.
Just me, trying to “realize life.”
I hope you’re realizing yours today, too.