If I noted this in late December, my voice would lilt out ‘snowing,’ like birdsong. The words might even be prefaced by a “Look” or an “Ooh.” Evergreens dusted in white embody the postcard view of holiday time in New England.
Were it mid-January, ‘snowing’ would come out as a question. How many inches? Will school be closed? Can we go sledding? A warm weather fan, I admit I shift my stance a bit and suit-up. Nothing quite matches playing in fresh, puffy snow.
Come March, the weight of ‘snowing’ is as wet and heavy as a clump sliding off the roof. No more white stuff. I’m done with shoveling. Uncle.
From one standpoint, it’s simply cold precipitation. From another, when will spring arrive? Yoga suggests we not only welcome the differing viewpoints, we step back and notice them for what they are: viewpoints. Rather than get caught up in the emotional response to a situation — be it the weather or something more personal — yoga has us step back and witness what’s going on. Notice the slant of our perspective. Shift it and see how our attitude shifts. We can’t control the weather, but we do have control over how we respond to the snow.
Kevin Norton, a fellow yogi living with Parkinson’s, shared this poem with me. I share it here because his words float on the page so beautifully.
Where we are in the storm
by Kevin Norton
I wish I could bring the “good” me to this poem.
Not this stranger, this wanderer.
This man who makes no plans.
I wish I could travel this poem free, not feeling
as if I were falling through myself, spinning and whirling.
Where no hand can catch me, help me, hold me.
I do not remember coming to this place of no bridges
and no maps.
I cannot say that I do not wish to be some beast, in a great
herd of beasts, waiting for the call to come home.
To have one or two needs.
The warm comfort of oblivion.
And now I know that the difference between being
“lost” or “found” depends entirely
on where you are in the storm.