I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love squeeky snow.
Guest blogger Rachel consistently surprises others with how small she is, she's like a small dog with a large bark running around the corner, bringing out a chuckle in everyone. That is, her bark is bigger than her bite.
I walk a lot in the winter. There's a quietness that one can find nowhere else but here, on the sidewalk, muscles all ready for the small bit of ice that could send me tumbling to the concrete. I wear headphones, but frequently they remain silent, more a visual representation to the world that I am to be left alone. The unshoveled patches that squeak beneath my boots, the bitter wind that i wrap my scarf tighter against, the emptiness of the streets. It's a stark contrast to the inevitable summer with the omnipresent voices telling me loudly what they want to do with my ... And how.
The winter is mine and I take it, silently and slow. Everything solidifying and becoming whole. Ice is the state where water molecules become less active and that surrounds me and fills me and my mind too slows as I breath out great puffs of humid steam, alone on the streets, on my way to nowhere special.
There's a yoga sutra II:46 "sthira sukham asanam" it means let your connection, or seat, be steady and sweet. I walk with this in mind. Steadiness, sthira, implying not a "hold the course" attitude, but rather an ability to steer around obstacles calmly, like a mountain biker. Sweetness or joyfulness, sukham, is that feeling when the oxytocin has faded in new love and morphed into the comfort of lasting love. Asanam is the way that we connect. I find that this concept has provided me with much meaning in my life, as practicing a consistently joyful attitude towards the way I connect with anything is profoundly challenging. Walking on icy sidewalks is a place I can practice with ease, nobody watching.
Sometimes I take my bike out in the falling snow, in the heavy wind driven snow, and ride among cars, to see if the slower moving molecules in my soul can stay, but alas, usually the cars thaw them into steam and my heart beats rapidly, releasing heavy streams of endorphins. This too I enjoy, though differently. Tiny bubbles of laughter cascade from my lips, and tears freeze in my eyelashes as in this tiniest act of freedom, riding amongst the petroleum fueled capsules, the beasts of burden of our culture, those eyeless, stupid creatures that find me a wasp in their herd and swat at me. But I pass them. I ride through and beyond them as they lurch forward towards their far off and yet so near destination.
In the winter I find joy in the nakedness of the trees, seeing their perfect skeletons. I find it in the murders of crows congregating, sometimes stopping for a rest in my backyard. I find it in the solitude, the silence, the steadiness, I find that when there is less, I can connect more.
And it is oh so sweet.
Read about this collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls, or check out last year's #lovemnwinter posts.