Here in the Champlain Valley we got the first dusting of snow. The mountains are open for snowboarding and winter is announcing its arrival with stalwart force. It’s been slow to arrive and much of our “stick season” has seemed more like “mud season.” If the snow persists and is followed by more we’ll be out of stick season and into the long winter. But likely we’ll be back to just “sticks” soon.
The leaves have fallen and
The long reach of winter has not yet arrived,
Confused, as it is, thinks its mud season
The ground not yet frozen
Not even close mid-November
Still breathing warm air and sunshine
When it is not raining
And the rains have come
and could be snow
Except the world is warming
Polar bears float from Greenland to Iceland
Just as we are exiled from our truth.
Confused like the seasons.
Oozing mud instead of frost
Not sure if we are coming or going.
Trying to hold something still
that must move,
Here in Vermont we have constant reminders of impermanence. The weather, our teacher in this regard, is rarely the same from day to day, often from moment to moment throughout the day. This is much like our moods; volatile like Vermont weather. Again, impermanence in action. Since we know both the weather and our moods are going to change we can be interested in watching this process unfold. We have the opportunity to loosen our attachment and find whatever is happening interesting, even if it is at variance with what we expected or hoped for.
I can hear the sucking sound as the gratitude vortex that reached its apex yesterday is losing air. We are at risk for post-Thanksgiving gratitude slump. For many, gratitude has given way to sleep deprivation as they showed up for the 5 AM sales at local stores. The opportunity to save hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars — now that’s something to be grateful for.
Montaigne said he preferred the “company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.” This bit of wisdom applies to the path of Buddhist meditation too. The smarter we are the more we may place obstacles in our spiritual path.