Sunday, March 2, 2014

Zen & The Art Of Letting Go Of Winter

The world has music, for those who listen-Shakespeare

I could feel the cold air seeping through the frosted window as I reached over to grab my phone and look at the weather.  Another day where the high might reach zero, wind-chills in the -25 range, the type of day we in Minnesota have seen far too often this winter.
The easy thing would be to roll over, cover up and go back to sleep, but having never been one to take the easy route, I once again suit up to take on Mother Nature.
Hitting the sidewalk the street looks off-balance, cars only allowed to park on one side of the street as the roads have become a mess of compacted snow and ice, narrowing to the point they have pretty much become one way streets, even with the cars only on the odd-sides.
The past few days have been the worst, trying to navigate the bumps, inability to see around the corners, ice so thick on all the roads that your tires spin a good thirty seconds before catching, launching you forward only to slam on the brakes as the car in front of you waits for theirs to catch.
Searching for parking turns an everyday task like running to the store into an afternoon as you finally find a spot blocks away, bundle up and have to hoof it back.
As I slip and slide along the sidewalk, trying to make my way to the path, the frustration builds...a cold wind cuts through the neighborhood, mocking my 'winter running gear' as I wait for my body to start to warm up.
Making my way around the lakes the path, like the roads, has begun to narrow, where normally two couples could pass no problem, now two people can barely walk side by side.  Coming up behind one must give a verbal warning, then be prepared to run through the snow anyway as there is nowhere for anyone to move.
Frustration, and anger build as the wind begins to pick up even more off the surface of the lake, whipping the drifts over the trail, covering the path and making searching for footing even more of a challenge.
The cold, steel-gray sky, feels oppressive, pushing down my head and shoulders as the snow, very much the same color, and plowed to about waist high, seems to push in from the sides until you feel like it could just bury you right there.
Somewhere on the south end of Lake Harriet, as the sky pushed down, the snow closed in and the wind whipped, something inside me snapped...not in a negative way...a realization that I was just pushing against a force that I couldn't change.  No amount of anger was going to make it warmer, stamping my feet harder into the snow wasn't going to make the footing any easier.  It was a classic case of trying to push a river, all it does is build frustration.
Instead as a heavy gust of wind slapped my face and feet slide out from under me, nearing bringing me down, I let go.  Why fight an un-winnable fight?  Why try to push the river, it was a fruitless task.
I let it go, no sense in getting mad at nature for doing exactly what it was put here to do.
The snow to make up for the drought this past summer, the cold to keep the lakes frozen to bring water levels up and slow down or stop evaporation, the wind to make sure that snow covered every surface is was intended to.
As I exhaled and let go, deciding instead to celebrate the winter for being perfect, my feet began to flow over the hard packed snow rather than rebel against it, and I became a leaf in the river rather than the rock....