Snow on the Ground

Last night snow fell and the sunrise seeping through the gray clouds let us see an inch of snow stuck to the trees, the grass, the road, the roof, everything.  I rose early and ran in the dark.  The darkness seemed brighter for the fresh snow, wet from fall’s warmer air and unfrozen ground.  Fall and winter have begun their discussion over who gets to spend the night.  We need to get our snow stakes planted, so the snow plow driver knows where to aim, before the ground gets too hard.

I drove to Montpelier today and was stunned repeatedly my the morning’s beauty.  I feel that way a lot, but this was a doozer.  I passed through the Winooski River Valley that cuts through the ridge of the Green Mountains and felt small with the beauty of this world looking so new.  The first true snow of fall has a clarity to it.  Leaves still cling to branches and green still dresses the ground.  The cover of snow says winter is on the way and let’s celebrate with an art show.  The snow on the mountains is the show’s highlight.

I went to a workshop this morning where we discussed the power of stories.  One element of this was the identification of “significant events” in our lives.  I have had some that would qualify for sure–running fifty miles, climbing Mount Shasta, kayaking whitewater, having children.  But I also listed rising in the morning, and my children’s laughter, and weather.

Like saving energy in a home, where there often isn’t one change that will make a huge impact, but where many small changes will add up, those small everyday moments add up to significant events.  I think about the weather each day, and not just to see what to wear or what my commute will be like.  I watch the sun rise, or admire the late day light on the hills, or feel the wind on my cheeks.  I find power in these moments daily, and their sum adds to more than any one event in my life.

Today’s snow was money in the wonder bank.  After I got home, after my elation that I got to see the wet snow still clinging to the trees rather than slumped to the ground as I had expected, my children wanted to bust out the sleds.  It wasn’t the slickest sledding, with grass patched through the white across the hill, but they had a blast.  They laughed a lot and so, of course, did I.

Who knows what things will look like in the morning?  I love that I cannot know until there is enough light to see it.  Sure, I can look at the weather forecast, but it won’t tell me if the last of the goldenrod will still carry snow, or if the maple will have shed its leaves in the night, or if the crescent moon will peak out from the line of low clouds.  For that, I have to wait.

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