“Your hand opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird’ wings.” ~ Rumi
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for you. You are a blessing to me.🙏🏽
First, I want to be clear; I’ve never been fond of cold weather. It didn’t help that my Southern birthplace, and childhood home, was New Orleans, Louisiana, a place where severe winters are rare. On the rare occasion that it did snow, I was the only sibling who refused to go outside. I was totally uninterested in building snowmen or otherwise voluntarily being out in the cold. If the temperatures dropped into the 60’s, I was the first to grab sweaters, gloves, hats, and other winter attire. Time has done nothing to change my mind.
In the late 90’s, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The symptoms of the condition are varied, but body-wide pain and muscle tension, resulting in chronic pain, extreme fatigue, insomnia, and cognitive deficiencies are among them. In my case, the 24/7 chronic pain forced me to stop actively practicing law some years ago.
I am never without pain, and winter and cold weather are insidious enemies to my body. The thing is that try as I might, I can never warm from the cold, and it prevents me from relaxing my muscles. As a result, they remain in a constant state of tension and stress causing increased daily pain. Nevertheless, as with anything, I believe that there is gratitude to be had in almost situations.
With that said, these are the seven things that make me appreciate the Winter season:
• cold weather attire, especially my favorite, boots
• soft, fannel pajamas
• sitting in front of a roaring fire
• the heated seat in my car
• sitting around our outdoor fire pit with family and friends to stay warm on a cold Winter’s night
• hibernating snakes because they live in our area, and, irrational or not, I am terrified of them, and
• of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas
So, although it is not officially Winter, Lydia’s Winter has arrived. As a result, Spring/Summer clothes are being stored to make room for all of my sweaters, winter hats, cold weather ponchos and coats, and most importantly, a light wool brown scarf that belonged to my long deceased baby brother. When I wear the scarf, I feel so close to him. Also, as a serious boot lover, I am already searching for the yearly pair of boots that I buy to add to my boot collection.
Whether you enjoy Winter or not, I’d love to hear one or more things that you like about the season, as well as any favorite memories that warm your heart about the Winter season.
I was reading one of my favorite magazines, Bella Grace, and happened upon an article written by Elle Harris. She wrote:
“ …. There is no looking ahead at the Author of Life’s chapter of your tale. And it makes you think, doesn’t it? About what really matters between one breath and another — and whether I’m using the breath within this very moment to compliment or curse, to speak or to listen, to drive away or to draw near. There may be nothing riding on a breath … or there may be everything.”
It is thought-provoking, because it forces me to consider whether I am using each breath for the greatest good. Over the years, I like to remind myself, and others, that we are not promised the next moment. It is not uncommon for us to forget that we don’t know if we will enjoy the next moment. We tend to take it for granted. In reality, that may come as a blessing, because such a realization would undoubtedly paralyze some of us. However, it also holds an important reminder for us. Instead of concerning ourselves with death, it holds a far more precious gift; the gift of savoring life to its fullest.
We have a choice. We can chose to live our moments filled with passion, joy, eager excitement, anticipation, and zeal, or to cease living in preparation for the inevitable. So, ask yourself, how do you wish to live your robust “in-between” moments?
Are they filled with curiosity, and anticipation of what the future holds? Do you take relish in the small things? You know, those seemingly inconsequential happenings that go by unnoticed. The mesmerizing sound of rain on a tin roof. The smell of jasmine wafting through your bedroom window. The sound of your favorite wind chimes as they dance and sing in a breeze. The rhythmic purring of your fur baby. The surprise discovery of a precious photograph that you thought long lost. The smile on your loves one’s face. Scores of these random moments occur every day.
It is said that true happiness comes in living in the present moment. It is in these moments that the magic happens. By recognizing the simple things that go unnoticed around us, we experience that which is truly important. Let’s view our lives as a series of opportunities that hold endless possibilities, and provides us the chance to live each moment of our lives fully, and with contentment for exactly where we are. Doing so, serves the greater good. Wouldn’t you agree?
I hope that everyone had a relaxing, enjoyable, and Happy Thanksgiving Day and weekend. I hope that it came with the realization that we all have something, even if it is only one thing, about which to be grateful. May the new week bring you much gratitude. Be safe, be happy, and know that you are loved and valued.