I woke up this morning to the peaceful darkness of the untouched white frosting across the ground, the trees, and on the tops of my neighbors’ houses. It had snowed several inches since yesterday afternoon and throughout the night. Fresh fallen snow is by far my favorite part of the winter, but I don’t usually enjoy too much else of the cold.
Winter as a work-from-home mom of two can become challenging. Neither of my two children currently go to school or a daycare, so the long days and the shortness of light quickly has its effect on me. During the summer, it’s easy to take a quick break outside in our backyard and let the kids run around, and let myself recharge in the summer sun. In the winter, though, I often find myself wrapped in blankets and layers of clothing or huddled by the fire while I work. Going outside doesn’t sound fun to me in the frigged cold.
The opposite is true for my 4-year old, as I am sure is the case with any kid her age. She has such an adventurous spirit, and I love that about her. Usually it’s her dad that will go outside and play with her though, and I will stay in with our 16-month old. Today was different though. My husband was at work and as soon as my daughter was able, she wanted to go play outside. As usual, I helped her get all her stuff on and let her go outside. Since her sister was napping, I didn’t have a choice, but to stay inside. However, a few minutes after she went outside, the baby woke up and a thought crossed my mind to get both of us dressed to go play in the fresh, powdery snow. Typically, I would talk myself out of such behavior, because as I mentioned, I am not a huge fan of it. This time, however, I said yes.
This year I promised myself to follow my joy more, even though I am not quite sure what that will look like quite yet. I do know, though, that when I get the feeling to go play, that I should listen to it. So, I bundled myself and my little one up and as we got outside to where my oldest could see us, her face lit up so brightly. She said, “Are you guys coming outside to play with me?” I pulled my two daughters around on the sled in our backyard and made snow angels with them. The joy in both of their eyes while we played together, was priceless. I noticed how present I was being with them. I wasn’t thinking, “How long will we be out here?” Instead, I was taking deep breaths of the crisp air, I was giggling and rolling around in the snow with my girls, and I was in a pure state of joy. I even stopped and watched the snowflakes that were falling down around me and witnessed how silent it was around us. Who is this playful girl inside of me?
Wintertime is often my least favorite season, but as I try to focus more on seeing the love in every moment, I took this opportunity to witness the beauty that nature had to offer, even during this “resting” season. Winter is a wonderful time to take in what matters most to us and to give new life to our ideas and goals as we approach the spring. Without the darkness, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the light. I am choosing to see differently, today. I can’t say every day will be just as joyous, but for today, I will enjoy this winter wonderland. (And make some snow angels!)