Good morning. We are still five days away from the official start of winter, but, for all intents and purposes, it has arrived and settled in. As I write this, Gerry is out front with the snowblower for the first time this season and other neighbours are clearing snow from their driveways. The sound of scraping shovels and noisy blowers disturbs the morning quiet. Makiya is pushing back against wearing her heavy winter coat to school.
“I’m from Prince George,” she says. “It’s not even cold.”
And, yes, it’s true that winters are harsher up north than they are here in Kamloops. But still. One can’t argue with an almost-teen (she’s just weeks away from reaching the milestone) who doesn’t feel the cold in the same way as we older folks do so she heads off in the snowy morning wearing a hoodie.
The pace has been steady, but not busy, for the past couple of weeks. Going out to shop for a few things, having coffee with friends, and taking time for personal pampering (hello pedicure and float) has added cadence to the days. Next week, Makiya will be off school and I’m thinking ahead to slower pajama days spent watching movies, playing games, and munching on treats.
How are you doing with balancing staying informed and not becoming overwhelmed about current events? Me, I’m managing by praying and looking past what I see to focus on what I believe. Still, a sense of foreboding lurks around every corner and one has to be careful not to get caught up in the vortex.
Three conversations I had this past week are uppermost in my mind this morning.
One, with a woman who was at the end of herself and felt the freedom to express her frustration about something that sent her over the edge—the snowplow driver who consistently blocks her driveway with a ridge of snow (If you have ever had this happen you’ll understand. Especially if it’s just after you’ve exerted yourself for a half-hour of clearing your driveway so you could get out. Ask my husband). She even cussed while she was telling me about it. It was refreshing. Not necessarily the cussing part, but the letting go and getting real and expressing her frustration. Relating to others from behind a mask of “everything is okay” or “I’m fine” gets old. I appreciate refreshing honesty.
The others were with two different women at different times whose lives and choices over the past two years have also looked different. They each expressed frustration with ongoing restrictions and weariness, with shifting goalposts and the seemingly endless narrative that has changed all of our lives. More importantly, they spoke of how we seem to have forgotten how to be civil and choose, instead, to point fingers and judge those who have different opinions. I am certain that if they were in a room together, they would have the grace to listen to one another. I am equally certain that there are many others who wouldn’t, and that is one of the most tragic results of what these past years have cost us.
So, now it is winter. We don’t know what it will be like to shuffle through this darkened season but we will come through it. Spring will come—it always does. Meanwhile, wisdom tells us to embrace the season to slow down, turn inward, and rest well.