We have been ready since Thanksgiving, and finally, here it is. The First Snow. Yes, there have been snowflakes here and there, now and then, but this is the real deal.
And it is gorgeous. One of those light, fairy wonderland kind of snows where you can almost see each snowflake, individual and all its own. The kind of snow that creates new shapes, an undiscovered landscape, and transforms the neighborhood. Instead of looking dull and bare, now each house looks charming and inviting and surely only interesting people live here.
I admit I am a winter junky. You know this about me, if you have read my posts in past winters, but I also admit I can afford to feel this way. I don't have to drive in rush hour. In fact, if I don't want to go someplace, I don't have to. I don't have to leave my car on the street and move it on Snow Emergency days. Beyond that, I have a toasty warm house where I can observe the outside beauty from the inside. Yes, I am fortunate indeed, and it is important to add in some way those who are in need to my Christmas list.
In part I love the first snow of each year because it suggests other firsts--first loves, and first jobs, and first grade, and first airplane rides, and the first time driving a car after getting my license, and the first grandchild (and the second one, too!), and the first time I saw the ocean, and the first time something I wrote was published.
Each of these firsts lifted my heart in some way.
True, sometimes a first includes a bit of anxiety and even loss. There may be the first time you enter your home after a loved one has died or the first time you sensed, truly sensed, your own mortality.
With the first snowfall what I am trying to hold close is the anticipation of the first day of Advent and each succeeding day as we approach the culmination of our waiting on Christmas Eve. At the same time I see in the not so far distance, the first day of the new year and I pray I can meet that day with hope and openness and purpose.
Do you remember when the phrase "the first day of the rest of your life" was popular? Well, trite and overused as it was, it is also an invitation to live with our eyes and hearts open to possibility and surprise and enchanting beauty.
In the Cleveland, Ohio, area where we lived for fourteen years each snowfall was like a first snowfall, for in-between snowstorms, the snow usually melted, and we got to start all over again. Here in Minnesota, where it stays cold more consistently throughout the winter, the snow remains and layers are added upon layers. The snow becomes crusty concrete.
This week, however, we received the first snowfall in all its bewitching beauty.
I rejoice in the first time.
What "firsts" in your life do you recall? How can you restore the magic of a "first" back into your life? I would love to know.