Water Becoming Ice
Something about this odd and mild winter! I seem more attentive to and more aware of the changes in the earth around me. As the temperatures now appropriately drop, the changing of water to ice in the wetlands behind my house and in Richmond Pond is riveting to me. Each day, a different balance between water/ice emerges, as the fluidity of water morphs into its frozen winter state, and then melts again with warmer days. Each morning and each evening, walking with Zac the Dog, I study the changes with deep interest—something about this process touches me deeply.
I am reminded of my first sober springtime in New York City. I had lived in the same neighborhood, the East Village way before its gentrification, for seventeen years. Walking down St. Mark’s Place that first sober May, I was stopped in my tracks by stunning, pink-white blooming apple trees lining the sidewalk. The sight was staggeringly beautiful to me. Who had put these trees here? When did they arrive? Their beauty caught in my throat.
Young Jose, a wiry Hispanic guy, was sitting on the steps of my 12 Step meeting house in the middle of the block. As I approached him I asked, “Hey, Jose. When did these trees get here? I’ve never seen them before.”
Jose gave me a long stare. His eyes seemed to soften as he offered, “Honey, these trees have been here forever. Where have you been?”
His message stopped my heart. I had never seen these trees before, despite my many daily treks across this block to the subway. Where had I been?
It is so easy to not notice the beauty around me. It is so easy to allow the habitual to catch my attention and pull me down into the mighty to-do list, the emails, chasing the seemingly “important” tasks of each day. Yet around me, around us, all, the earth opens and closes each day with stunning beauty and offers us, moment after moment, visual reminders of the grace that keeps this show running. My commitment this winter—not my fav season—is to keep my eyes and my heart open to what is—to notice the grace around me.
And you? What can you see today? What moments of beauty are manifesting right before you? Give yourself the gift of this challenge— noticing the grace.