A Meditation on Snow

We’ve had a lot of snow here in my part of the country called Canada. In 24 hours, we got more than 70 cms (about three feet) and we listened to winds upwards of 160 kms (about 90 plus miles an hour) blow all that snow. Imagine a hurricane, but instead of rain, we got snow.

The day after, when drifts filled the driveway and blocked the front door. Image shows a huge pile of snow in front of a red garage door.

As I write this we are still under a state of emergency (SoE) and that limits how we can move around the city while we dig out from underneath.

Truth be told, I don’t want to go anywhere; I don’t want to negotiate any slippery hills either as a driver or pedestrian; and I certainly don’t want to deal with the cold and the wet.

I have enjoyed my enforced break. I read two books. I planned meals carefully knowing we couldn’t go shopping for food if we ran out. We checked on senior neighbours in our ‘hood and friends and family who weren’t nearby.

Then I worried about people without phone, computer, or even an entrance or exit to their homes because the snow barred them in. But I found a place where people were helping and that worry got redirected.

Mostly, I thought about resiliency and how we (I) moved through different stages. First wondering about the snow, the wind and the power — would it go? would the roof blow off? would we be trapped? Then thinking about solutions and how to solve each of the problems I encountered.

When I wasn’t thinking, I was trying a number of relaxation strategies both to calm and improve sleep. It seems silly to think about, but excepting for a couple of bed time tricks to get me to sleep, I hadn’t spent any time during my walking hours about applying calming strategies to help me function.

I know there are multiple approaches out there but they weren’t top of mind. When you can’t go anywhere (January 24 will be our seventh day under the SoE), you are willing to try anything to be more effective in your work, including relaxing.

My trainer says sleep is the best healer and I agree. I also have learned how to focus on the task at hand by running through the steps in my mind. This week, I realized I really like breaking things up into component parts and understanding what each piece does to lead to the successful execution of the whole action. I think that’s why I have come to enjoy yin yoga so much. Each pose has a specific purpose and effect.

I am not sure why it took me this long to figure out on a conscious level something I’ve been doing subconsciously for a very long time. However, it’s offered me lots of scope for reflection.

Our snowstorm may have been a huge inconvenience but in retrospect, it offered me a chunk of time to pause, even stop the relentless focus on outputs and review the beauty of the process.

— MarthaFitAt55 lives in St. John’s and is delighted at the possibility of snowshoeing once the SoE is lifted.

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