It’s snowing here again in my home of Northern Vermont. This is not too unusual. It also snowed in Irving Texas, sight of the Super Bowl tomorrow. That is unusual.
Last week much of the country was under snow.
The weather is a great teacher of what the Buddha called anicca — impermanence, especially here in New England where the weather changes so rapidly.
This morning the sun shone brilliant off the foot and half of snow that fell on Wednesday. I enjoyed the smell of wood smoke as I headed out for a snowshoe with my dog, cutting a track in the snow for later hiking and running.
But now it’s snowing again and will fill in our tracks! Tomorrow we’ll be at it again. The weather never stops, breathing never stops, all the cycles of life continue.
The changing weather can be a metaphor for our changing moods and energy. It can be sunny in the morning and stormy in the evening. Tomorrow, who knows what the weather will be? We can count on it changing, though, and not take any of it too seriously.
I was editing Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants in the winter of 2008. I wrote about shoveling my long driveway. The story of that task was an unpleasant prospect; the actual doing of it was something else. In the moment, one action follows the next. I didn’t have to shovel the “whole” driveway, just this piece right here, right now. I thought about that the other night shoveling the heavy snow of the past storm and I’ll remember it tonight and tomorrow as I shovel this current storm.
In a way, this is our work in living a mindful life — keep shoveling. Persist with what we are doing in the moment and don’t allow our stories to get us discouraged. If we fight the changes — the impermanence — we’ll get weary. It takes energy to resist. If we embrace what is happening now, we can find peace in whatever is happening.
So, if it’s snowing by you, enjoy the snow! If it’s raining by you, enjoy the rain. If it’s grey by you, enjoy the grey. If its sunny by you, enjoy the sun. Kiss everything as it goes by. Enjoy this moment.