I am not a professional writer because I can’t write to assignment. Yet I didn’t argue with my friend when he gently told me to go for a walk in the snow, look for something special or inspiring or beautiful, send him a picture, and come home to write about it. I laced up my sneakers and threw on my Wonder Woman beanie hat because yesterday was not a good day despite good intentions. I woke up still carrying yesterday’s pain and I don’t want to keep holding it. It was getting heavy.
I love running in the snow. It brings me closer to God. It’s peaceful and quiet. There’s hope and new perspectives. So I head out to the trails and start looking for something inspiring, something beautiful, something special. I quickly realize that I cannot find one thing that is inspiring, beautiful, special. Because it all is. All of it.
All of this world is inspiring and beautiful and special. My friend nudged me out the door to remind me that this world is larger than me and my bad day and my pain. Perspective is everything, and when I’m sitting there crying and sobbing, feeling sorry for myself, it feels like my world is closing in on me. And it is. My sadness and my problems grow in between each tear that falls down my face. I feel overwhelmed, and I cry more.
I needed the reminder to do something different, and that is to actively widen my world back up. Perspective is everything. My pain is real and sad, and it is a glorious world with so much beauty and joy.
This curious little graveyard sits in the middle of nowhere, right off a trail. It’s over 160 years old, and holds a family of six. Of all things, this provides perspective. Our time here is short. It’s up to me to make it good, even when I have a bad day.
One of the things I love about running in the snow is that the world seems to soften. These rocks are hard, jagged, cold. Yet it becomes a canvas for snow, and the rocks seem to soften. This reminds me that every moment and interaction in life is an opportunity. And hard things happen. It’s up to me to decide if difficult or bad things harden my soul, or softens it. I want life’s trials to soften me, because fully feeling and holding the hurts and pain gives me the gift of empathy and compassion. This empathy and compassion connects me to all of the other messy humans, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Walking in the snow affords a different view than running. I notice more details. Nature is a funny thing, a wondrous thing. This reminds me that there’s always something bright, even in the midst of cold times. You just have to look for it.
I always marvel at how the trees look so different with a coat of snow. I can see their shapes in a different way. I can see how the forces of nature twisted their trunks and branches. I can see how the winds of life have blown and blown, and pushed and pushed some trees. And yet they still grow and thrive. These trees were certainly supposed to grow straight and tall like most of the other trees. But sometimes we don’t get what we want in life, and winds of life push us around and batter us a little. I can stand strongly and keep growing and thriving even with unexpected twists and storms that rage.
The snow, the woods, the raging storms life throws at me–I choose to allow them to soften me. This is how I grow and thrive in this vast world that is inspiring, beautiful, special. Choosing to allow life’s hardships to soften me make me inspiring, beautiful, special.