The wind is sharp and finds its way into all the crevices. But I am ready for it. Only my eyes peek out from my bundled body. Two layers cover most of me and keep the brutal cold out. I jog along with Stella, the dog, as she trots, stopping every now and then so she can sniff, thrusting her snout into the snow as she follows a scent. Ox Bow Park is a wonderland these days, covered in white fluff. The beauty almost makes up for the cold. But we only last so long and return home to the radiant heat of the wood stove.
These frigid days keep me mostly homebound and that’s a good thing. As a new year opens, I am glad to slow down and breathe. In the familiar surroundings of my home, I reflect on the good of the past year and I am grateful. I also face the bad, and know it will continue to rear its ugly head. Right now, though, I look ahead with clear eyes. It all starts with me. What do I need to get rid of? What do I want to build on? What is working? What do I need to let go? It feels good to clear the clutter in my life and bring it back to the basics. I want to move forward with more simplicity and focus.
Somehow, life often seems to become more complicated than I hoped for. I let things like worry, fear and self-doubt pile up. They weigh me down. But those are just extra bags that I will have to pay for. So as I start this new 2018 trip, it’s back to my one and only backpack. I will carry hope, truth, beauty and love in it. I will get rid of some of those pounds. I have a few plans and projects to work toward and maybe that’s enough. But mostly, I want to soak in the goodness of every day and pass it on to others.
During these cold days, there is a cleansing that happens. Outside, the air is renewed by this artic spell. Inside, I get rid of the old and welcome the new. I allow my creative side to come out and forget the limits I often impose on myself. One door closes and another opens to millions of possibilities.
It’s time for another walk. I pull on my snow boots, my down jacket, my gloves and my wooly hat, wrap my head with a scarf, grab the leash and the dog, and we are out again. As I walk down the sidewalk, I notice little flurries of snow overhead. Is it snowing again? No, a squirrel treads lightly on a branch, releasing a light snowfall as he goes. All of a sudden, I see it. I want to be that squirrel: purposefully living, treading lightly in this world, releasing beauty as I go. It will be easy enough to do if I can stay focused on just carrying that one backpack. Here’s to a new year!