Some days looking out my window is enough to fill me with silent joy, wonder, and gratitude. Today was one of those days—a day to count snowy day blessings.
I woke up this morning to freshly falling snow. For awhile the snowflakes were falling heavily, fat and fluffy creating a winter wonderland all around. Looking out the window made me smile because of the simple beauty of the snow falling.
A few minutes later as I prepared to meditate I glanced out the window and saw nine deer running single file through the park next to our backyard. Even though the sight of deer in and around our back yard is not rare, it never fails to cause me to stop whatever I am doing to simply gaze in delight at these wild creatures who live among us so gracefully. The beauty of seeing them leaping through the snow lifts my heart and makes me grateful to be alive.
As soon as I sit to meditate I notice the snow-covered evergreen branches outside the window and take great delight in the sight of fluffy fresh white snow covering dark green pine needles.
My cat Gracie climbs into my lap as soon as I sit, her purring chest vibrating on top of my hand as I attempt to focus on my breath and stay in the present moment. She is another blessing on this cold winter day. Almost every day when I sit to meditate, she joins me, looking out the window for birds in the evergreen branches, chittering and meowing when one of them lands on a nearby branch. Today she is quiet, no birds in sight. The last bell of my meditation timer rings and I glance down and see a tiny red squirrel running through the snow. A perfect benediction for my day.
Ordinary winter days in Minnesota. Yes it is cold outside. Yes, commuting to work in this weather is a challenge and shoveling snow is one more job that must be done, but to me it’s worth it whenever I open my eyes to the beauty all around me.
Just yesterday I was complaining to my husband that I was tired of winter already and ready for spring. Today I am counting blessings, feeling grateful for this beautiful place and the cold and snow and all the rest.
Gratitude and counting blessings are a necessary part of my winter joy practice. How about you?
May you walk in beauty.