Not unusually, my eyes beat the sun up this morning. Before anyone else had a chance to stir from their beds, I crept from the warmth of our weighted comforter and padded downstairs in stocking-feet. Almost from muscle memory, I brewed a cup of tea, took my daily vitamins with a glass of water, and retreated into our family room.
Time to sit with my thoughts for a bit.
Wrapping a lap-size quilt around my shoulders, I let my eyes settle on the sparkling landscape just beyond our house. We woke to snow again this morning. And, in Texas, every snow fall is celebrated, enjoyed to the fullest, and remembered indefinitely.
Quite honestly, the snow days punctuating this week have felt like a gift.
Last Thursday, our relentless rush of errands, appointments, classes, rehearsals, jobs, and meetings came screeching to a halt when my teenage daughter and husband both tested positive for Co-vid. With immediate effect, our schedule cleared and we found ourselves looking at a mostly blank calendar for the next five days, at least.
By Monday, every member of our seven-person household had gotten sick. What followed were days of fever and nights of sore throats, sore heads, and restless sleep.
By the time we woke to a fresh, white world on Thursday morning, a snow day felt like a celebration. We were still stuck inside, yes. But for good reason. And with a good view.
I don’t have to tell you that an introvert like me will take down time any way it comes; but snow days trump sick days, every time!
So I sat this morning, observing the still world and listening to its silence. Watching as lingering threads of dawn streaked the grey skies, softened the bleak winter horizon, and teased us with promises of sunshine.
All of it- the glistening snow, the lingering hues of sunrise– would be gone once day began in earnest. And so, I knew, would the quiet.
But for now, it lay before me like an open book.
I reached for my journal and pen and spent the next few minutes scribbling thoughts onto the crisp pages of my diary. Much like the snowy yard outside my window, those pages spread before me with fresh margin. No footprints- yet. No plans- yet. No mud or busyness or tracks. Just margin.
Pausing gives me perspective, I wrote in my journal. When I slow down, I hear and see and observe what I otherwise miss.
Last week, sickness brought a pause to our busy life. Much to my surprise (and my kids’ chagrin) we didn’t have to be all the places we previously thought we had to be.
Yesterday, snow and ice brought yet another pause. Just when we were ready to venture back out into the din, nature whispered, “Not yet.”
So I drew the curtains, pulled the blankets up a little higher, and left my car keys buried in the bottom of my purse for a few more days. No going out. Not yet.
Really, I’m too busy doing what it feels like I never have time to do: and that is a lot of nothing. Listening to the silence and observing my busy days from a tranquil place. (Funny how the perspective changes from here.) I’m stretching a bit in my new margin, which feels freeing and vast at the moment.
Yesterday, I watched as my eight-year-old, Caleb, made his first snow angel of the season. (Perhaps the last, if it doesn’t snow again this winter). I think I’m going to make another “snow angel” in all the white space this weekend. And why not? Who knows when I’ll get to pause like this again?
Next week, I’ll have fresh eyes and fresh energy for whatever the rest of this season holds. Will there be more snow days? Maybe, maybe not.
But I’ll make sure there are at least a few more pause days. And at least a little white space.