A flurry of fine, soft snowflakes are falling as I write this morning, a thin layer of white already on the ground. It doesn't snow often where I live but when it does, I fall in love all over again with that still silence that always accompanies this white magic.
If you've ever experienced snow, I think you'll know what I mean? It seems to make everything fall quiet. There's such a feeling of calm that wraps itself like a blanket around me, almost like all the things that had been bothering me have been sucked out of time and space with a giant vacuum cleaner, leaving only peace and clarity.
In the experience of snow, I'm transported home, to the place within where this quiet, still peace and contentment stretch on forever in all directions. Sensations and feelings of fear, overwhelm, anxiety and frustration melt away and give way to something infinitely softer and more true.
Life can look quite terrifying at times. Stories made of clouds can look very, very real. Anxiety feels like a forever thing. Fear seems so tangible it might come and get you in the night. And yet beneath all that disturbance lies an invitation that will never fade - to sink beneath the surface to a space where everything is soft and open and welcoming.
The snow is a happy reminder, but we don't have to wait until it snows to journey to this place. In truth, there's no journey to take. There's no space between here and there. It's ever present in every moment. It's who we are and it's available, always.
And yet whilst we're waiting for that realisation to dawn, the reminders are plenty and everywhere: a mindful breath, a bird on a branch, a stolen minute of eyes closed, a sunset or sunrise, a poem filled with truth, the smell of your favourite fresh herbs growing outside, real eye contact with a loved one or stranger, a child at play, an honest conversation, the touch of another. They all serve the same purpose - a calling into true presence.
And true presence, well, that's just another word for this soft, still place. It's what happens when past and future disappear and we find ourselves here, now.
Love and courage,