Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Snow Days

This past Friday was like a day out of late Spring. It was a day that made you think about lounging around in a deck chair and reading all day. Like watching baseball games and grilling up hotdogs. Like drinking ice-cold beer or fruity drinks with parasols in them while getting a tan. A day that you’d be crazy not to call in sick for.

It was a day that had all the promise of spring and more.

I woke up Saturday morning to four inches of snow, and a wintry wonderland worthy of a Dean Martin Christmas album.

And it’s been that way ever since.

It was the ultimate 180-turn around. A cruel joke.

Like a lot of the country, it hasn’t even been a bad winter here on the High Desert. It’s been pretty lovely and mild. Not too much to complain about. But it’s been winter nonetheless. Even if it’s been mostly gray, mild days.

The fun of snow wares off quickly here. When you have to shovel it, and go out and drive in it, the thrill of building snowmen and throwing snowballs doesn’t last long.

I was driving home in it the other night, going at a snail’s pace across the frozen roads. At first I was frustrated – all I wanted to do was get home after a long day at work. But then, as I was driving, the sky started turning pink. One of those beautiful muted winter sunsets lit up the sky, throwing this coral-colored light on everything, the snow soaking it all up.

I slowed as a family of deer crossed the road in front of me. A whole pack of them, crossing the road like there was no hurry in the world.

And I was struck with this feeling of gratitude. Even though all of this was slowing me down – the deer, the crazy winter weather, the poor roads – I was happy to be there in that fading glow of the pink sunset. I was happy to be on that road to see the setting sun, and the family of deer wandering across. I was glad to be in such a beautiful place where there’s snow, and trees and electrifying sunsets and packs of deer.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little stagnant in my life. Like I’m not moving anywhere. I catch glimpses of movement and improvement (like that day of spring) but then it all goes back to being the same. I feel like I have clear ideas about what I want in my future, but I’ve been frustrated by the slow progress of it all.

But being out there on that road that night, I felt like even though it may not look like it, I am moving. Nothing is ever stagnant. I may be frustrated by the slow progress of it all, but things are moving in the right direction. And the best thing to do is to just make peace with where you are, and enjoy the scenery along the way. Sometimes, you just have to keep going, and have faith that you’ll end up where you want to go.

When I got home that night, I had a Blue Moon winter seasonal beer, made some snow lanterns outside, and felt much better about it all.

Those are my two cents for the week, anyway. Monday I will return with another installment of Writer at the Bar. Hope all of you are staying warm out there, and enjoying the scenery from wherever you are at the moment. J

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