When Life Gets Snow-Capped
I’ve loved the snowfall this week. The car’s been sitting outside, virtually unused, and the heating‘s been on continuously (good for neither bank balance or skin!) but despite any snow-induced inconveniences, I’ve felt so invigorated and excited as a result of this impressive whiteout.
And I asked myself earlier today, while trekking with the dogs through knee-deep drifts, what is it about snow that is so magical?
Snow makes us stop and notice. It is mindfulness. Snow changes the landscape and gives us a fresh perspective (and God knows, this is so welcome during the Lockdown Groundhog Day existence we are all trudging our way through!). Snow makes strangers smile at one another in a silent acknowledgment of all of the above.
In the inspirational film, Touching The Void, which features the story of two British climbers taking on the mighty Siula Grande in the Cordilera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes, in 1985, there is a part of the dialogue that always sticks with me. Speaking about why they chose to ascend such a treacherous mountain, Joe and Simon refer to the alluring quality of danger, of risk; of escaping the safe confines of our modern, health and safety-proofed western world.
In the West, we are lucky to live in a reasonably safe environment, and it’s not something I take for granted (especially given the exceptional challenges of the last 12 months), but I appreciate the point those two climbers were making. As humans, we are set up for challenges and overcoming hurdles in life. And in our modern existence, we don’t often find the need to experience or flex this part of our psyches. Consider perusing the shelves of your local supermarket versus foraging for wild berries and mushrooms!
And so, in a very small way, when we are greeted first thing with the sight of a fresh and beautiful blanketing of snow, we are granted this opportunity. It’s different, and it requires stepping out of our automated headspace and into a sphere of increased awareness and attention.
When change happens, we can feel invigorated and motivated.
We can take a lesson from the way snow causes us to switch our thinking and moods. When we add into our lives a modicum of newness or challenge… perhaps even risk, we feel alive again. It injects us with a vitality that revives and reignites something long forgotten – childhood excitement. It offers a new lens on the world around us and sparks original ideas and thoughts.
In short, challenges provide us with the chance to grow as people.
During the remainder of lockdown, however long that may last, set yourself the task of incorporating more newness into your daily regime. What small steps could you take to bring about the feeling of wonder and excitement on a daily or weekly basis? You don’t need to set about climbing a mountain to achieve it… just change the way you do the mundane, try to see things through fresh eyes. You will find that this habit goes a long way to help keep you feeling positive and able to stay the course.