Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thoughts on Staying In

It's not unusual in this part of the country to be isolated at home by the weather. Today has turned out to be such a day: a raging blizzard has struck St. Paul, and there's no way my little Corolla is going to make it anyplace. Luckily I was smart enough last night to pick up fixings for a large meal and I have plenty of movies and in-home projects to do. I decided to take the blizzard as a gift of time rather than a frustrating weather event stopping me from my usual goings of here and there.

As I look outside, all I can see is the world being covered up by a huge bluster of white. There's nothing inviting about it (unless you're my yearling German Shepherd, who insists on sitting on the back steps with his head tilted in fascination). It's weather of hot chocolate, flannel sheets, and thick novels. Weather to stay in and stay cozy.

Ironically, this time of year no one in our culture "stays in." Normally, we are out hustling and bustling, gift shopping and party going. It's almost as though our cultural practice of the "Holiday Season" gives Mother Nature the finger while she persistently tries to keep us still with cold and snow. Today is one of the rare days She has met success. Metro Transit has shut down city buses, and anyone I see brave enough to venture out is walking on the street and not the sidewalk. Our Mother is telling us it's time for stillness and quiet, to stay in and be with ourselves, an ancient notion She is enforcing in full today. I hope others can see this as the true gift it is and not stew in frustration at winter's heavy lifting. It's natural to stay in, so just go with the flow, and enjoy.