Last Wednesday night it snowed and then the temperatures dropped down below freezing so schools were closed because of icy roads and Thursday my husband and I had the surprise gift of a day off together. We walked up to Volunteer Park and delighted in snowy wonder. It is unusual for Seattle to get any snow at all so people are unprepared when it happens, although this is the second time in a month and a half we have had this front of arctic air move in, and the third time for unusual and severe weather patterns. So I finally got to experiment and play with my new macro/zoom lens that a reader recommended to me (Thanks John!).
This continues to be a time of flowering and gift. I am finding God in snowy days, in sweet old dogs, in cooking a meal. I continue to feel the invitation to pare down, to really be present to that which no longer serves me. The God of Winter drawing me inward, reminding me of life's essence. Then I receive this poem which gives the instructions so clearly:
Give up the world; give up self; finally, give up God.
Find god in rhododendrons and rocks,
passers-by, your cat.
Pare your beliefs, your absolutes.
Make it simple; make it clean.
No carry-on luggage allowed.
Examine all you have
with a loving and critical eye, then
throw away some more.
Keep this and only this:
what your heart beats loudly for
what feels heavy and full in your gut.
There will only be one or two
things you will keep,
and they will fit lightly
in your pocket.
-Sheri Hostetler, A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry
What does your heart beat loudly for? What feels full in your gut? Can you wrap yourself in love and the wisdom of intuitive knowing? Can you take the time to linger over snowy mornings and discover a world of grace?
-Christine Valters Paintner
I love that the gargoyle has a little snow cap and a touch of snow on his nose.