I woke up to a world covered in wet flakes.
I felt at peace and safe, eating surprise cinnamon rolls and drinking hot coffee.
I was thinking of a handful of years ago…
When the snow meant shoveling, something I wasn’t allowed to do.
What a little devil I was about it. How my mom probably wanted to shake me, make me see.
Of course I wasn’t allowed to shovel. I was a tiny bird, teetering on the edge of the nest. I was a danger to myself.
I would get so angry! At how unfair it was, that my sisters could do this chore, and not me.
Looking back, I see how trivial it was. How annoying and childish I was, and at times still am.
After all, it’s only snow. (After all, it’s only food.)
How often this term has run through my mind. “Ugh! I know it’s only pizza! Why am I so afraid?”
Or more recently: “It’s only food, it’s only eating at “normal” times”.
Sometimes the words we use can be beneficial in one statement, and detrimental in another.
It can be helpful to remind myself gently that it is in fact “only food” or “only exercise”.
And it can be piercing when someone thinks they are being helpful by saying these same words, and instead, is discounting my struggle.
I remember how I’d cry and throw a fit about not being able to do something “normal”.
How I’d despise my sisters for their ability to do whatever they liked, whenever they liked.
Snow brought out the worst in me.
I remember how I’d anxiously call the local “time and temp” number, to report to my mom how cold it was.
How mad I would get over the windchill, when the temperature was above freezing.
Below freezing meant I really shouldn’t go outside at all, let alone walk my paper route, or the dog.
I am free now. Free to shovel and walk and breathe in icy gusts of wind.
This knowledge brings me a sense of peace. And also, thankfulness.
Because I know how easy it is to slip back. And I don’t even like shoveling, how ironic.
Knowing I am free is also a scary thing, because I am only holding on to this freedom with the strength I once used to tear myself down.
On that Sunday morning of our first snow, I spent a bit of time focusing on my past, and I also dwelt on the present moment.
Savoring a warm house, a kind husband who takes such good care of me, hot coffee, a beautiful blanket of snow outside my windows, and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. (Let’s just say it’s been a long time since I had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.)