The first snow of the year. There is magic in it. Children know this. They see joy, laughter, adventure and new worlds when the white stuff falls from the sky.
As adults, the magic gets lost, as it does for so many things. Frustrating trips to the store to stock up on milk (with other anxious, frustrated adults), last minute trips to Home Depot for the dry ice that you could have sworn you already had, rescheduling of various activities, concern about cold, about driving, shoveling....the list goes on.
In winter, especially the colder and darker climates, it's so easy to wish the days away. Wish for warmth, wish for color, wish for the happiness that would come if we just had these things.
I write this, because I too have these thoughts. In the past, winter has been tough for me emotionally. This past fall I was almost in tears thinking about what winter might bring.
It's true that the cold has been slow to come this year, and that certainly has helped my mindset, but I'm also actively practicing something right now and I can feel it keeping me in a better place. It's gratitude. Gratitude for the little things. The way leaves look frozen in ice, the sparkle from the sun's light, the persistence and hope I see in the dormant tree buds. And yes, gratitude for the snow that is likely almost here.
While the winds howl, the stress and worry will be replaced by time spent in my home with my loved ones. We will be forced to slow down, to spend time without the endless errands and just....be. It will be a few hours of stillness, games in front of the fire and movies. After the storm my boys will play in the snow and have the time of their lives. The magic will be there....in them, and all around us.
Gratitude is what allows us to wake up to the magic that kids see all the time. It is a filter through which we see the beauty of the first snow, the beauty of our lives and the magic that is all around us, every single day.