Winter in Minnesota can be a harsh and unforgiving time, devoid of optimism and promise. It goes on and on with no end in sight. Or so it feels. A writer friend told me yesterday that she wakes up day after day, looks out the window and it is still the frozen wasteland it was the day before. And yet, we choose to live here.
This year, I've been unusually affected by the cold, the stark. Of course it doesn't help that it has been below zero, or close to it, for a majority of the past month. Perhaps I feel it more this year because I am consciously focusing my attention to it and have recognized my unconscious attachment to wanting it to be different.
Feeling trapped in the house, I remind myself that my hiding away is a choice. I watch the arctic sunshine bathe the deck and dream of the day I can be out there writing in my willow chair, my dog basking in the warmth next to me. Even the dog gets confused and begs to go out to soak up the sun, expecting heat when there is none. I get resentful, in spite of myself.
What if I just let it be? In how many ways do we let our expectations interfere with what is? Just as this blog is a work in progress, a creative process in its own right, aren't the cycles of Nature as well? Aren't we? If we spend so much time investing in the outcome, what energy do we have for attentiveness -- for honoring things as they are? We are so conditioned to push ahead, to drive for the destination, that we forget to slow down and enjoy the scenery. We forget to let this moment be what it is, and to be present with it.
Yesterday, as I drove to an appointment, an Eagle crossed my path, soaring on invisible currents of frigid January air. He didn't mind the cold. Who knows? Arctic air may allow for a whole new way of flying. In Native American teachings, Eagle represents Spirit; freedom and feeding your soul. Attentiveness is about just that kind of nurturing. Had I been single-mindedly on my hurried way, expecting that it was just another cold, stark January day that I wished was behind me, I may have missed it -- the majestic magic of Eagle dancing on air.
Attentiveness, in my experience, is always rewarded. Be in the moment and the moment will reveal its treasures to you. Even if it's well below zero and you can scarcely see through the frosted windshield...//