Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Fall Back AND Forth November 3, 2013

Sunrise behind fragile-looking winter treesAhhh, fall and the end of daylight savings time…
I actually remembered this year, and before going to sleep last night, took the time to set back the clocks around the house. This meant, theoretically, that last night we would get an extra hour of sleep, (the only upside to this day that comes readily to mind). Unfortunately for me, the one clock I forgot to change was my internal one, so not only did I wake up early today, but I woke up earlier than I would have on any other “normal” Sunday. My day began at 5:30 AM.
This year the shift in the clocks, also coincided with a major shift in the temperature overnight, so we woke to a very chilly, gray and rainy morning in the 30’s. Brrrr! The fact that both of things happened on the same evening – really drove home the realization that fall is fast disappearing and winter is right around the corner. While I don’t dread this season as much as many folks do, I do find that I enjoy it less than I used to. I am beginning to understand why so many folks when they reach their retirement years, fly off to warmer climates. For me however, the single thing that I dislike the most is not the cold, but the lack of sunlight.
So given that the we are in the waning part of the daylight story, and that I am not even close to retirement, I guess I have a couple of choices: begin hibernation mode or make the best of it. Thus, today as I mentally prepare for the fading light and colder days, these are the things I want to remember about winter:
• I love to snuggle under the covers, when it is cold outside
• I enjoy making and eating “winter foods” such as; soups, stews, and other hearty hot meals.
• There is nothing quite as exquisite as a fresh covering of snow: twinkling in the moonlight, shining against the blue sky in the morning and cloaking everything in a dreamlike silence.
• Winter brings some of my favorite family traditions.
• It’s a great time of year for indoor projects and activities; artwork, writing, reading, having friends to dinner.
• The air feels crisp and clean.
• And winter is always followed by spring!
As my morning shifts into these reframed thoughts, I recognize that I can indeed feel a shift. I am excited to have written this blog. I have already gotten an hour of work in this morning on a couple of quiet projects. I am excited to make the beef stew, I was planning for dinner. And at some point, I am going to crawl back into bed for a little nap. It’s all good. Silly me… I forgot for a moment there that each season brings its gifts along with its challenges. Just like every aspect of our lives. I hope you find the upside in whatever may be vexing you on this Sunday morning, sometimes all it requires is a little reset of your own internal clock.

 

The Weight of the Wait February 26, 2010

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I think living in New England (and other areas of the planet that experience “traditional winter weather”) requires a certain heartiness that folks in warmer climates don’t require. However it is always interesting (particularly with the climate changes of recent years). There’s an expression that pretty much sums it up – “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait five minutes.” And it’s true – today started off sunny and mild though there had been a dusting of snow overnight and a forecast for torrential rains all day. Throughout the day, it alternately was cold with snow squalls, rainy, windy and/or quiet. Every time you looked out the window there was something else going on – I was waiting for it to rain actual cats and dogs, ‘cause it would have seemed like just the right day for it. Our promise for the weekend – more unpredictable precipitation – rain, snow flurries and even some accumulations in some areas – what could be better than that? Well, actually a little sunshine and warming temperatures would be nice.

When the winter months reach their last legs, the weather is on everyone’s mind. I would bet that at least 90% of people who interacted with another human being in New England today talked about the weather at least once. “Talking about the weather” – the cliché icebreaker is more than just idle chatter in my belief. Around these parts I think that it is a way for people to bond together against something that is greater than they are. (That, and it provides an excellent opportunity for one-up’s-man ship – “You think you have it bad, we got 10 inches of heavy, wet snow last night in my town  – my back was breaking!”) After all, no one I know can change it and everyone is affected by it. At this time of the year and for the next month and a half or so as spring teases us with the promise of warmer days and sunny skies – there is a combined sense of impatience, resolve and hopefulness. We’re almost there… just a few more weeks… a few more snow storms and we will be rewarded.

When you think about the bonding we do over the trials of untamable Mother Nature – you know you are participating in a ritual that has been handed-down from one generation to the next in many parts of the world. It is the ultimate realization of the smallness of our presence in the eternal evolution of the planet and of our interconnected experience. You may feel all alone looking down the long snow-covered driveway, shovel in hand pondering the work ahead of you, but you are not, and later you will get the opportunity to swap stories with your co-workers and family. We are a hearty and hopeful lot – bound together by some frozen water crystals and the promise of daffodils.