As I gaze out the window on this very cold winter’s day, I see bright sun shining upon bare trees and snow. It is almost too much for the eye to bear. It is blinding. It is so Abundant and yet so simple. In the midst of so little heat there is so much energy. How can this be?
Yet is not that always the way, plenty in the midst of scarcity? Or is it a matter of perspective. When I think of winter I think of snow and cold. I think of the effort to go about my normal tasks. I think of the way in olden times people would struggle to feed themselves. Yet here in Minnesota we find an abundance of ways to enjoy the cold.
Winter is the time for Ice Castles and snow forts, of sledding and hockey, of bright winter’s mornings and clear starry nights, of gently falling snow and howling winds.
A heavy snow fall is both a blessing and a curse. It makes us pause and attend not to our agendas but that of nature. We cannot go about our normal activities. We must find the car under the piles of snow. The roads are hidden under the white. Yet it creates unique opportunities. What child does not enjoy sledding or snow ball fights. When my kids were young I would pile the snow at the end of the drive so they could make forts.
What do we need? More stuff or more appreciation for what we have?
The good times I share with my family are those we spent together. It is not the activity, but the presence we shared. Paddling a canoe, each of us dipping our paddle in and out of the water in unison. The canoe gliding gently across the water, or bouncing through the rapids and thrilling us.
Hugs and smiles give us joy. Not the presents and food that fills our stomach and soon becomes waist to fill the sewer. These are the things that are so abundant and yet so simple.
When I see the abundance I see opportunity. I get the power to do the things that I can do and let the rest take care of itself. I am freed of burdens and empowered to act. And over time I have accomplished so much that when I look back I see the abundance and not the scarcity.
So how can I apply these reflections to my life? Might I choose to pause each morning and list the abundance I find in the world? The sun that rises each day, giving light to the world and ease to our moving. The warmth of the day that eases the nights chill. Each night as I settle myself to sleep might I recall the abundance I experienced this day?
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