Saturday, February 02, 2013

To do or not to do that is the question

Its February.

Sitting here cup of tea in hand, I wanted to take stock to see if all the things I had planned to do in January got taken care of and what was left undone. As usual I had far too many things on the list to accomplish ( even in hibernation mode) where I get caught up in the enthousiasm of New Years resolutions. I did spend January planning month by month what I intended to do but then nature has a way of stalling my to do list regularly and refocus on the present moment.

The snow arrived and clothed the roads with a blanket, well everything was white, cold and I listened to the frantic movements of the birds in the garden who were probably looking for food. I so enjoy the birdsong during the day and my contribution is to feed the birds in winter when I can. I notice the wildlife and nature now as where some years ago, I would be more focussed on getting to work and how this or that meeting would be chaired. Being mindful of 'NOW' means being open and present and I notice more of my surroundings and its opportunities. Being snowed in helps.

Nature provides its own version of a duvet day and while clothing the outside with a covering of magical snow I responded by lighting the woodburner, feeding the birds and making a celeriac soup.
Whatever I had planned that day got superceded by the weather conditions. Sometimes nature provides us with opportunities to help us recognize that we need nurturing.

I noticed the rush outside:

  • people commuting to their workplace
  • cars abandoned by the roadside
  • fear of not getting to work
  • phone calls regarding that urgent meeting
  • postmen delivering mail in all weathers
  • customers venturing to the shop for supplies of quick food
  • dogs being walked 
  • people covered in layers of clothing
  • trees draped with snow

The shop papers were not delivered and neither did lorries make it to the village but farmers came with their landrovers to help and everyone in the community did what they could to take part and check on housebound neighbours. Children had a rare snow day from school ( as the buses did not run) and the day seemed to bring out a carefree play to all concerned. I picked up my bag of leftover yarns and dedicated the day to making a little hat and reading about fair isle knitting, a technique still to be mastered. My to do list fell by the way and at the end of the snowy duvet days I felt I had accomplished a new skill which did not figure in my original plan of the day.

A snow day may be  inconvenient and here it stops the routine dead. Many are unprepared and struggle to continue in the forward movement created by a need to struggle against nature to fulfill a personal to do list. Rarely do we stop and question whether by going out and following our daily work routine, we are taking a risk of damaging our cars, other people or our health. The diary is so full that taking a moment to stop, breathe and be still is far more frightening than taking the slippery road outside.

Its good to focus our mind towards things and tasks that need to be done but a duvet day gives us a rare opportunity to reflect on what nurturing ourselves can accomplish.

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