Lessons From a Late March Storm

 

The teaching sidewalk

Weary, as so many are, of the long, cold, stormy winter I hoped to find some redeeming quality in the slush I found myself trudging through once again. Hoping that since March came in like a lion it would go out like a lamb I was dismayed to find that the last weekend in March delivered a sloppy mix of snow, rain, and sleet. Although walking a dog in such mess is hardly the worst sort of suffering that such a storm could dish out it isn’t the sort of climate I would choose to venture out in if given a choice. As I walked today with my dear exercise companion, Lilly, navigating the remnants of ice and slush I was able to appreciate the sunshine that was causing the last of winter, I hope, to melt away. The sidewalks told me a story that I am bringing to you my readers with the hope that you too will be encouraged.

Some of the cement today was completely dry having been cleared following the storm a couple of days ago; some was wet from melting snow. While areas covered in melting slush made my feet cold and wet (not long, thanks wool socks) they did not hold the peril that the sections of rutted ice created by yesterday’s footprints frozen over during the night. I learned quickly while trying to avoid traffic where to walk and what to avoid. My footing was actually surer in the wet snow cover than in the footprints already laid.

Lately I have been pondering the idea of taking a break from the hurry of this day and age which is causing me some trouble and there in the snow I saw the lesson. The clear walk is where I want to be, a place where my footing is sure, the decisions are clear even if they are difficult and I am persuaded by my own sense of what is best for me than burdened by another’s directive. I’m not there yet. Slushy areas, though not as peasant to walk on, provide a place to move while remaining upright. These compare to giving myself some breathing space, saying no when I need to, and not putting myself down thinking I should be doing this or that when I just don’t have the energy. If I hope to find that dry walk, a place of good emotional health, I need to walk first in the safety of the slush; learning to be okay with who I am right now. Rutted ice had been created as a well trodden path had become frozen hard in night and a danger to any who might pass. It seemed smart to walk in the established footprints but I was most unstable there. Foot traffic is heavy on the path of busyness these days, because so many choose such a flurry of activity it seems the best way to travel through life but for me and many others it is dangerous. I am trying to make my way through the slush and learn what to do when and what to let go of for now and maybe always.

As I continue my trek through a rather stormy season of life I hope that I will be able to not only learn to slow down and appreciate a different pace but that I will also be able to encourage others to do the same. Perhaps I can join those who realize that a slower pace in life can be quite healthy and productive making for happier people and a richer life. If I can learn to live by these ideals then walking through life’s slop will have been worth the effort. To those who are teaching me I thank you and those who would like to join me on the journey welcome aboard.

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