this perfect/dirty snow/life

There is so much snow.

Thursday and Saturday night, while we were sleeping, snow fell centimeters, inches, feet at a time, unbeknownst to many - until the sun crept over the horizon, and curtains were eagerly thrown to the side. 

There it was. This beautiful, pure landscape of white - begging to be left alone, to be captured by cameras and minds' eyes, trees dusted like powdered sugar, yards blanketed and fluffed.  But the landscape was also begging to be disrupted - by small feet and well-fed snowmen; by sleds and slap-happy squirrels; by vengeful snowblowers and aggressive plows. 

Personally, I only like the snow when it's quiet and untouched. I like it pure, undisturbed, peaceful, calm. I like it perfect. I don't like to drive in it. I don't like the look of it when it's been run through with a plow or a shovel. I don't like it when it's been slushed through and dirtied - pierced by proof of action and activity.

Kind of how I like my life. 

The most sacred part of my day is from 5-6/6:30/7am, the one to two hours when intense coffee/silence/reading/writing/thinking/COFFEE (yes, on purpose) happens. It's perfect. It's quiet and untouched. It's pure, undisturbed, peaceful, and calm. It's my happiest of happy places.

But then a kid cries. Or my (perfect, amazing) husband shuffles (not-so-quietly) into the kitchen - and the freshly fallen landscape is no more. 

For a while, I used to get frustrated. Not mad. Just annoyed that I couldn't preserve and hold onto the picture of this perfect, sacred segment of my day. I wanted more time to myself, more quiet, more peace. Obviously, more coffee.

But staring out the window recently, I imagined April. April, in my opinion, is the month holding the most promise, the most hope. Because the snow melts away and makes room for the new: new weather, new ground, new life.

But the snow isn't pretty on its way out.

It's brown and dirty and disturbed and - bleh. 

It has to be. In order for what once was the perfect landscape to touch and transform and tease life out of surrounding roots and trees and flowerbeds, the snow must look not-so-perfect - it must succumb to disturbance and change.

The truth is, the perfect, undisturbed landscape of snow - of your life and mine - doesn't get you blossoms, in the end. 

It's the run-through, slushed-through, shoveled and plowed terrain, it's the dirty grime and grind - it's the action and thrill of making sledding hills out of snowstorms - that, one day at a time, gets us to April. 

I used to look at the untouched, "perfect" parts of my day - or of my entire life - and stare, longingly, fighting for the promise of framed masterpiece and memory.

But there's something about the hard stuff, the dirt: the crying kids, the crumb-sprinkled floors, the packed meeting days and messy beds - that holds promise, too.

It all depends on how I choose to look at it, really.

Now when my kid calls my name in the middle of the silence, I sigh - and I smile. The quiet is broken, slushed through and plowed - but on the other side of the door is a blossom of a giggle, a warm hug in the midst of the cold - and my idea of perfect time that's all mine melts away.

There it is.

Real life, after all.


Ashlee EilandComment