Yesterday we had our first snowfall of the winter. I was thrilled. Although my adult self worries about getting out the next morning, there is still a child in me that feels like every snowstorm is a celebration.
This morning the landscape is transformed. Because the snow was wet it stuck to every leaf and twig. Some trees are bent over from the weight and many listeners to my radio program called in to say that their shrubs and trees were heavily damaged. Not much to do for many of them, although split trunks can sometimes be bolted together. Despite the breakage, it is gorgeous outside.
As I drove home though all of this snow-covered beauty I was thinking that there are times when the landscape of our lives is suddenly transformed as well. Sometimes these transformations are happy ones: a birth, an unexpected raise or new job, a garden in extra-glorious full bloom. Other times an abrupt change is tragic: an unexpected death, the loss of a job, a fire or flood.
Many transformations are like yesterday’s snow. They bring both beauty and difficulties. Children usually focus on the good that a snowfall brings; school is closed and there are snowmen and forts to be built. But as adults we think of power outages, difficult shoveling and hazardous driving.
There is some wisdom in a balance of these two outlooks, I think. We can acknowledge that a sudden transformation brings beauty and difficulties… we can remind ourselves that it’s possible to appreciate and cope with both.