"This is My winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon,
it rolls in from the sea
My voice; a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light,
to carry you to Me.
Is love alive?"
I just discovered the extraordinary voice of Ronan Keating. His version of "Wintersong" is lovely...I hope you enjoy it on this winter's day.
We've just weathered a snow storm here in the Midwest, and the cold that has followed on its heels, has settled into the ground, making "earth as hard as iron and water like a stone. It "nips at your nose" and chills to the bone. And I love it.
Shoveling snow is one of my favorite things to do. I know...go figure...
It didn't used to be. In fact, there was a time when the cold frightened me. Now it makes me happy. What changed? Well, I think there were two things that changed my relationship to cold.
Both were simple, yet significant, changes in perspective...
One evening, some years ago, a friend walked out of my kitchen door in minus 10 degree weather, dressed only in shirt-sleeves, jeans, and slippers, to get something out of his car which was parked a good 500 feet from the house.
As I watched from the window over the kitchen sink, I shook my head in wonder. Was he crazy? It was ten degrees below zero...that's 42 degrees below freezing...and he was walking as calmy as it it were a balmy day in September.
When he returned I asked him, "Oh my goodness, weren't you freezing? It's bitterly cold out there!" He said, "It doesn't matter, I was only going to be out for a few moments and I knew it." He went on to explain, that if he thought he was going to be out in the cold for a long time, he might have felt it differently. But in knowing that it was only for a few moments, he could endure anything. I remember the confidence in his voice and demeanor when he said, "I just tell my body, this is only going to be for a moment or two, no matter what."
Well, I've never forgotten it. The body can't tell time. It doesn't know how long a moment is. I've used this so many times in thinking about endurance. Physical, emotional, financial, environmental. Whatever I am being asked to endure, it is only for this moment. And I can do anything for a moment. Cold, hatred, pain...hardships of any kind...are only for a moment. And if they present themselves again in the next moment...well, I will take that when, and if, it comes...in the moment.
The other change in my relationship to cold came a number of years ago when I was running. I love to run late at night...after midnight is best...and it is always seemed colder to me in the dark of winter, than in the daylight.
It was my first winter after I'd begun running daily and one night, on my way back from visiting a patient, I looked up at the LCD display on my dash and it said 19 degrees. I hadn't missed a night of running for months and I didn't want to miss this one either. I was worried though, that I couldn't do it.
Over the years as I'd driven past runners out in bitterly cold weather, I'd thought, "They're crazy. Who would ever want to run in these frigid temperatures?"
By the time I arrived home, I had made two decisions. One, I would follow through on my commitment to myself to take it one step at a time: put on running clothes, put on shoes, stretch, walk to the mailbox, jog to neighbor's house at end of the circle... And, two, I would remind myself that it was "only for a moment" and that I could turn around and come home if at any point, it became unbearable.
With that, I was off. I layered up and by the time I reached the neighbor's house, I had stripped my outermost layer off and tied it around my waist. I was generating so much heat from within, that I wasn't feeling the cold in the same way...in fact, the cold air felt good. The longer I ran, the more I enjoyed the cold.
I have used this experience in so many ways. When the coldness of anger or hatred seems to come my way, I just try to radiate more love from within and enjoy the opportunity to discover more about my capacity to love.
When lack presents itself, I can just fire up the creativity and spiritual resourcefulness engines and watch lack melt away. You get the picture. Or as Mary Baker Eddy says, in speaking of our God-bestowed capabilities:
"We are all capable of more than we do."
So, to recap:
- I can endure anything for a moment
- When I am radiating warmth from within,
I'm not aware of cold as negative
Just a couple of ideas that I hope to use in the next few moments. There are so many people in our world who are facing this cold without shelter...perhaps our response can be two-fold...blankets and prayers...not necessarily in that order, but definitely both.
Enjoy the snow...with Love,
Kate Robertson, CS