I am done with my graceless heart*
This morning, I woke up to frost and little birds that did not seem to care. The world looked like a pale Narnia; the snow from the weekend had melted, but as my breath formed a cloud in the air, I felt the cold right down to my smile.
The various animals were fed, coffee was had, and things began. That’s how life goes: the alarm rings like a starting bell, and we amble off into the world. Some days are better than others, but all hold their magic. Frost, even though it has covered what’s left of the garden, is still beautiful. Tiny little ice crystals that danced over the green, frozen like a memory, melting slowly.
That, in a way, is life. A series of crystalline moments, beautiful even when it’s unpleasant. So many people look at frost and merely see winter. (I know I’ve done it.) But there’s a gleam and a sparkle there, a bit of transient, ephemeral diamonds.
It’s no secret that I hate winter. I hate it, unless I’m curled up by a fire with a nice glass of wine and nowhere I need to be. But even winter has its moments, full of sweaters and snowballs. I love the absolute stillness that happens after a big snowstorm, when you step outside and there’s no sound, and nothing but a white world. (And me, looking for a lamppost and Mr. Tumnis.)
My dog, as crazy as he is, thinks snow is magic. He runs out, feet akimbo, happily pouncing around. To him, there is nothing better than snow. Nothing better than the completely awesome fluffy stuff. (No, not marshmallow fluff.)
It is, like all things, a matter of perspective. So much of life is just that, boiling down to the way we examine a choice, a situation, a moment, a kiss, a reason, an excuse, a friendship – and so on, ad nauseaum.
Amidst the insanity of life (and it can be freakin’ crazy), we often fail to really see it, failing to exist in the singular moment, too often rushing through. I’ll never forget when I went to Italy to visit family. Basically, the entire country takes the month of August off. As an American, and a partially type A personality, I cannot imagine doing nothing for a whole month. But it was a matter of perspective. To them, to my relatives, it was the same as having the weekends off.
Right now, here is what I know. I know that we talk too much about appreciating things. I’ve done it, too. I remember reading A Story to Live By when I was in high school. A friend sent me a link to the article. And I wanted to be the somewhat eccentric person who wears perfume to the grocery store and doesn’t save anything for a special occasion.
Sometimes, we all need a reminder that this minute is what we have. This love. This chance. This choice. This [whatever]. Sounds crazy, right? Wrong. Forget what you’ve been told since birth and stop trying to plan EVERY second of your life. Balls to that, I say. Plans are good. Plans are necessary. But plans should be flexible. Life isn’t set in stone, carved with irreversible intent. It’s one notch, one step at a time.
Live it. Love it. Be as wise as you are crazy.
*lyric from Shake It Out by Florence + the Machine, which is playing on a loop.