My love, walking out in the snow
Moving at the pace of winter
I recently saw an artwork that displayed an alternative to the traditional ASAP (As Soon As Possible). It reads"As Slowly As Possible."
My immediate thought was, "Yes. THIS." Which was quickly met by an inquisitive "Hmmmm." I needed to refine it, tweak the language to represent a pace and approach that felt more honest to me. In no more than 30 seconds, it came to me.
"As Serenely As Possible."
Yes, serenity. A state of untroubled calm. Making motions that come from and move me closer towards peace. This feels true. This feels desirable. This feel doable?
My work life moves a swift pace. The daily tasks fill up a notepad, planner, and Google Calendar. Some days a task or two are shifted to the next date because other actions took precedence. There is a lot to do. My priorities are productivity and compassion.
When the work hours are complete, the laptop gets shut. My focus and priorities shift.
Winter sets the tempo
I move at the pace of snow - steady and soft. I seem to to accomplish nothing, until there it is - the knit hat, two loaves of bread, six inches of snow.
January, the month we are in right now, is a cold one where I live. It is the heart of winter - grey skies, strong winds, and low temps. For me to be serene in January requires a thick scarf, long beanie, and pockets with room for my hands to burrow.
The scant of winter seems to demand room for it to do its thing. Its emptiness urges respect, attention, and calls forth the whole story. It also evokes a necessary feistiness to balance the scales. Holly berries. Need I say more?
Also winter sunsets.
This year, it also requires fires. Starting at 6am, daily, our wood stove is filled by my love. When he leaves for work, I maintain it. There is a heartiness to ending a work call, walking out to the shed, and filling my arms with as many logs as they can carry inside.
The intention, patience, and skill of fire-building through winter has undoubtedly grown my appreciation for the season itself, and for my partner.
It highlights the steadiness I need to get through winter well. The more I align with the pace this season sets for us - steady, soft, and calm, the more I actually feel able to accomplish whatever it is I need to do every day.
I also know that springtime is coming with its contagious zest. Yes, pollen. Also, growth. This serene pace doesn't last all year long.
Yet my continual alignment with the seasons brings lessons. To I move at the pace I can move. To observe and be in sync with natural rhythms. And mostly, to keep it simple, sweetheart.
Books I am reading, songs I am listening to, and other words that ring true to the essence of serene simplicity and winter, for me: